Admit it, it drives you nuts: You know someone who has cheated on his or her taxes, and you think you can't do a thing about it. Or maybe you can.
The IRS Whistleblower Office was established by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 to encourage taxpayers who witness tax problems to make reports to the taxing authorities. Mechanisms for making reports had been in place for nearly 150 years, but the 2006 law created new procedures and incentives for processing and investigating taxpayer claims. To encourage more taxpayers to come forward, the IRS made a public show about the fact that they may pay awards to people who provide specific and credible information to the IRS about non-compliant taxpayers.
Remember those words: specific and credible. The IRS wants details. They don't want guesses or beliefs. They don't want to hear that your neighbor has to be under reporting her income because she otherwise couldn't afford a new car on her salary (you don't know that her long lost uncle just died and left her a bunch of money). And just because you've never personally walked a tax return to the post office for your employer doesn't mean that he or she hasn't filed one.
If you can provide sufficient information that leads to the collection of taxes, penalties, interest, or other amounts from the non-compliant taxpayer, you can be eligible to collect one of two awards:
If the amount in dispute exceeds $2 million, the IRS will pay a whistleblower up to 30% of the amount collected. If the alleged tax cheater is an individual taxpayer, his or her annual gross income must be more than $200,000 for the whistleblower to be eligible to collect this award.
In most other cases, the maximum award is 15% of the amount collected up to $10 million