Dean Zerbe was Senior Counsel and Tax Counsel for the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Charles E. Grassley, 2001-2008. At the direction of Chairman Grassley, Dean was the counsel responsible for the modern IRS whistleblower law – signed into law in 2006 — which established the IRS Whistleblower Office and created an award program for tax whistleblowers. Dean “wrote the law” when it comes to the IRS whistleblower office and reward program. Dean represents a select number of tax whistleblowers – including the most successful whistleblower in the history of the U.S. – Bradley Birkenfeld. Mr. Birkenfeld was awarded $104 million dollars – 26% of the $400 million in taxes paid – based on Mr. Birkenfeld blowing the whistle to the IRS about tax fraud by UBS. The award to Mr. Birkenfeld is the largest amount awarded to any individual whistleblower by the United States government. The award also represents one of the very first awards made under the IRS whistleblower law. While representing a broad range of tax whistleblowers, Dean specializes in representing whistleblowers with complex submissions. Whistleblowers have also turned to Dean to assist them in navigating the IRS and Tax Court to ensure that a prior submission is properly reviewed and considered. Dean represents whistleblowers before the Tax Court and is the author of the National Whistleblower Center’s amicus brief in the Insigna case – a landmark case for the rights of tax whistleblowers. Dean consults frequently with the Congress and the IRS about the IRS whistleblower program and has submitted extensive comments to the IRS on particular matters related to the IRS whistleblower program. In addition, Dean is widely recognized by the press as a leading authority on the IRS whistleblower law – quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Washington Post, Tax Notes, BNA, Accounting Today and CFO Magazine. Dean has an LL.M. (Tax) from New York University as well as a J.D. with high honors from George Mason University School of Law. Prior to the Senate Finance Committee, Dean was in private practice at Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Nevada – with a focus on tax planning and tax controversy. In addition, Dean served previously in a number of positions in Congress, most notably as a staff assistant and investigator for Senator Grassley.
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