Employees Whistle, IRS Listens

Agency appoints director for its new Whistleblower Office.
Dave Cook and Stephen TaubFebruary 5, 2007

The Internal Revenue Service has named Stephen A. Whitlock, who previously directed several programs designed to dig out Defense Department fraud, waste, and abuse, as director of its new Whistleblower Office.

“This is an important new office at the IRS, and Steve brings a strong background in ethics and tax issues to help get this program off to a good start,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson, in a statement.

The new office will process tips on tax evaders, both individuals and companies, whose tax liability (included penalties and interest) exceeds $2 million. And while previously, the incentive for employees to rat out their employers was largely a matter for the IRS to decide, by law a whistle-blower can now receive between 15 percent and 30 percent of any recovery.

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The Whistleblower Office was created by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006.

Since May 2003, Whitlock served as deputy director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, which administers the regulations governing the practice of attorneys, CPAs, and other tax professionals. Earlier, he was director of the IRS commissioner’s Complaint Processing and Analysis Group.

The IRS also noted that Whitlock directed the operations of the Defense Hotline, asserting that it served as the model for Inspector General fraud, waste, and abuse hotlines throughout the executive branch.

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