The new Trump Administration nominee for IRS Commissioner appears to be a fan of the IRS Whistleblower Program. Charles P. Rettig, a past-Chair of the IRS Advisory Council, and a tax lawyer in California, wrote in the Fall of 2016,
“The IRS Whistleblower Program plays an important role in reducing the Tax Gap by providing an avenue for reporting tax evasion. Tax whistleblowers provide valuable leads and often offer unique insights into compliance challenged taxpayers. In these situations, the Whistleblower Office is charged with processing financial awards to people who provide information about the tax indiscretions of others. It can be lucrative for the informant and greatly enhance the ability of the IRS to pinpoint tax noncompliance without having to unnecessarily utilize limited tax enforcement resources.”
In a paper he authored in 2013, Mr. Rettig noted that,
“Tax whistle-blowers provide valuable leads and often offer unique insights to compliance challenged taxpayers. The IRS must act promptly when receiving specific and credible information regarding tax compliance issues when that information can be corroborated through examination activity. In these situations, the IRS Whistle-Blower Office is charged with processing financial awards to people who provide information about the tax indiscretions of others…. Further, a visible, well-respected IRS whistle-blower program increases public interest in the program and could cause countless otherwise compliance-challenged taxpayers to voluntarily comply ... deterrence can be a persuasive and relatively inexpensive tax enforcement tool.”
In 2012, Mr. Rettig wrote a detailed article explaining the process of filing a claim with the IRS Whistleblower Office.
Clearly, this is a nominee who understands not only how the IRS Whistleblower law works, but how it should work, and why it could be a valuable “power tool” to help build a stronger and more efficient tax collection system.