Tax Whistleblower Receives $11.5 Million Award
Whistleblower attorneys Stephen M. Kohn and Dean Zerbe are pleased to announce today that a joint client – who wishes to remain anonymous – received a whistleblower award under the new IRS whistleblower award program of $11.5 million. In this case, the whistleblower provided information that led to the government collecting over $44.4 million in taxes, penalties, and interest in the case.
“On behalf of the whistleblower, we would like to thank the Director of the IRS Whistleblower Office Lee Martin for this award. Director Martin has made a priority of issuing mandatory awards to tax whistleblowers, and this significant award reflects his commitment and dedication to that goal. We especially want to recognize also the hard work and professionalism of Ms. Peggi Bockman of the Whistleblower Office in making this award possible. Additionally, we send thanks to the anonymous IRS examiners and auditors for their diligence and effort in utilizing the information provided by the whistleblower to go after those wealthy individuals evading tax with illegal offshore accounts. Finally, of course, thanks to the whistleblower for having the courage to come forward and blow the whistle on these millionaires and billionaires seeking to evade their tax obligations.” said Kohn and Zerbe.
“This award continues to build on the success of the IRS whistleblower award program – including the record number of awards provided last year to tax whistleblowers of over $312 million. The $44.4 million collected from wealthy tax cheats thanks to the whistleblowers’ information is good news for honest taxpayers. The IRS providing major awards to tax whistleblowers is only part of the good news for tax whistleblowers. Congress recently made improvements in the IRS whistleblower program – signed into law –that provide protections for whistleblowers from retaliation and expanded communication between the IRS and whistleblowers. Good news all around for tax whistleblowers and strong encouragement for whistleblowers to come forward” said Stephen Kohn of the law firm of Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto.
“The IRS continues to have a high interest in whistleblowers coming forward with knowledgeable information about wealthy individuals with illegal offshore accounts. The keys to success for getting an award are: 1) providing detailed information about specific individuals and companies evading federal taxes – not speculative; 2) giving information that is current; 3) providing documents if possible; 4) the whistleblower is a knowledgeable and informed – commonly an insider; and, 5) the issue involves significant dollars. The IRS has rolled out the welcome mat for good tax whistleblowers,” said Dean Zerbe of the law firm of Zerbe, Miller, Fingeret, Frank & Jadav, LP.
The anonymous whistleblower stated: “Thanks to my lawyers Stephen Kohn and Dean Zerbe for their efforts and tenacity in ensuring that I got an award. I knew I was in good hands with Steve’s years of successfully representing whistleblowers and Dean’s unmatched background and knowledge in tax and the tax whistleblower law – especially since he wrote the IRS whistleblower law while working for Senator Grassley. I was confident I had made the right choice in having them represent me – and I was right.”
Stephen Kohn and Dean Zerbe jointly represent many tax whistleblowers – including Brad Birkenfeld, the UBS whistleblower who received an award of $104 million from the IRS in 2012. Last year, Kohn and Zerbe’s clients received $100 million of the $312 million in awards announced by the IRS – based on bringing nearly $725 million into the Treasury. This year to date, clients they jointly represent have received over $124 million in awards from the IRS. In addition, they successfully represented a whistleblower in the landmark Tax Court case of Whistleblower 21276-13W v. IRS(147 TC 121 – 2016)which resulted in a major win for tax whistleblowers with the expansion of the definition of “collected proceeds” to include criminal fines and civil forfeitures for whistleblower awards. Stephen Kohn, in addition to being a partner at KKC, is also chairman of the board of the National Whistleblower Center(NWC). Dean Zerbe, in addition to being a partner at ZMF, is also a senior policy analyst to the NWC.