- The top Democrat and a former Republican Senate Finance Committee chairman enacted bill to bolster an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) whistleblower program that has raised $ 6 billion from businesses and wealthy individuals caught evading tax.
Legislation sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Committee chair, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa would help fill an annual $ 630 billion gap in taxes owed and paid by Seven measures to encourage whistleblowers, including a presumption of anonymity, are taken in court.
- With reference to the whistleblower program, Grassley said“We should do everything in our power to ensure its continued success so that tax evaders and fraudsters pay their debts,” adds, “It is important that whistleblowers who come forward are protected and treated fairly.”
The Biden government last month proposed a 10.4% increase in the Hassle for the IRS to $ 13.2 billion for fiscal 2022, including an increase in the budget for enforcement, primarily focused on corporations and high net worth taxpayers. Every $ 1 spent on enforcement brings in at least $ 4 in direct revenue, according to the IRS.
TThe IRS budget has shrunk by about 20% over the past decade, reducing the number of specialized accountants and other critical staff and widening the tax gap, said the Treasury in a plan released last month.
The IRS has fewer accountants today than it has ever had since World War II, the Treasury Department said, adding that the percentage of all audited corporate earnings fell 37% from 2010 to 2018. The proportion of audited returns of companies with assets greater than $ 20 billion decreased 50%.
The Wyden and Grassley proposed bill would exempt whistleblower awards from budget collection, ensure that whistleblowers are paid interest if their award is not paid within a year, and align the tax treatment of legal fees with other whistleblowing programs.
The legislation would also update the program’s annual report to Congress to help lawmakers prioritize tax writing, allow new evidence to be admitted in appeals to the U.S. tax court, and allow the IRS to share a portion of the revenue withhold for the administration of the whistleblower program.
“IRS whistleblowers play a vital role in protecting tax dollars and finding tax fraudsters stealing the American people,” Wyden said in a statement. “Our bill would strengthen the protection of these brave Americans if they stood up.”
Companies that operate cross-border outside of the United States face growing attention and audits carried out in part by the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) project of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Launched in 2013, the project has gained momentum as the media and governments focus on the success of some companies in lowering their taxes by relocating operations and reporting to countries with lower taxes.