July 01,2010

Grassley works to empower whistleblowers and fight fraud, urges Treasury Secretary to prevent IRS whistleblower law from being undermined

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grassley works to empower whistleblowers and fight fraud

WASHINGTON --- Senator Chuck Grassley is calling on the Treasury Secretary to explain and further study IRS proposals that would undermine legislation Grassley authored four years ago to make the IRS whistleblower program more effective in cracking down on tax cheats and collecting taxes owed to the Treasury.

“The changes that the IRS wants to make have the potential to hurt whistleblowers and create disincentives to come forward with information,” Grassley said.  “Instead of putting up barriers to whistleblowers, the IRS should be focused on making the program successful.  It’s a matter of tax fairness for honest taxpayers.”

Click to read Grassley’s letter and attachments one, two, three and four.

Grassley has monitored implementation by the IRS of the improvements and urged expedient, effective handling of whistleblower information.

Grassley was the lead Senate author of the 1986 whistleblower amendments strengthening the federal False Claims Act, which have become one of the nation’s strongest tools to identity and prevent fraud against the Treasury.  To date, those provisions have helped to recover $22 billion for the federal Treasury that otherwise would have been lost to fraud.  The False Claims Act does not cover tax fraud; hence the need for an effective IRS whistleblower office.  Additionally, Grassley succeeded in getting enacted a federal incentive for states to adopt whistleblower provisions as part of state laws on false claims as part of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.