On August 30, 2016, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) issued a report on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Whistleblower Program. The IRS Whistleblower Program plays an important role providing an avenue for reporting tax evasion. Between 2011 and 2016, the IRS collected more than $2 billion because of information provided by whistleblowers. However, whistleblowers and Members of Congress continue to express concerns with the operation of this program.
TIGTA initiated its audit “to determine whether whistleblower claims are appropriately and timely processed before referral for investigation or examination.” The Government Accountability Office recently reviewed other portions of the IRS Whistleblower Program in response to a request from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance.
TIGTA found that while the IRS Whistleblower Program has helped the collect significant amounts of revenue by facilitating whistleblower claims, the program still needs improvements. The report cited that whistleblowers are not always contacted to clarify allegations and that there is still significant delay in processing claims as two areas where improvement is needed.
TIGTA concluded that the Director of the Whistleblower Office should “implement controls to ensure the consistent, appropriate, and expeditious processing of whistleblower claims.”
IRS management in responding to the report stated that it would implement corrective actions for most of the recommendations.