“Whistleblowers and their advocates have long complained that they are unappreciated – or downright resented – at the Internal Revenue Service, but the agency on Friday gave them a pleasant surprise.

Months after narrowing the circumstances under which whistleblowers could collect rewards for exposing tax evasion, the IRS reversed its position.

“This is really I think the first tangible evidence that the senior leadership [at the IRS] is getting behind the whistleblower program and wants to make it work,” said lawyer Dean Zerbe, who represents whistleblowers.

At issue is the IRS’s use of a law Zerbe helped write when he was Republican tax counsel to the Senate Finance Committee under Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). The idea was to give people with knowledge of unpaid taxes an incentive to help the government collect the money.”

Original article by David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 14, 2011

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