Although a commentator in a recent media article on IRS whistleblowing calls a United States Tax Court ruling "good news," that sentiment is certainly not universally shared.
And it's especially not endorsed if you're an individual or business enterprise that suddenly becomes a named defendant in an agency whistleblowing case.
We provide immediately below a bit of material detail concerning a high-profile tax case decided earlier this month by the federal Tax Court.
Discussion commences with a spotlight being placed on the term "proceeds." In the context of IRS whistleblowing litigation, proceeds have customarily been construed by the agency in what the aforementioned article calls a "very narrow manner."
To wit: A whistleblower has long been eligible to join in the spoils in a whistleblower recovery only if taxes were collected from a defendant.
Given the court's recent ruling, though, more individuals might now be motivated to commence litigation against an alleged wrongdoer.
Here's why: Court justices opted to greatly expand the long-held IRS interpretation regarding proceeds, with that term now embracing any criminal penalties assessed and civil forfeitures applied, in addition to taxes paid.
The bottom line: The potential sources of money recovery for a whistleblower are now materially increased, which makes it reasonably likely that more individuals will come forward to implicate parties they say have acted unlawfully regarding their tax-related obligations.
Tax cases are commonly complex matters, with added layers of complexity certainly adhering in whistleblower actions.
No individual or corporate entity should ever be adjudged a wrongdoer absent a clear showing of facts that prove otherwise and that address every element of proof required under relevant laws.
Questions or concerns regarding any aspect of a civil or criminal tax investigation can be addressed to a proven tax law attorney.