IRS Issues Final Regs on Disclosing Return Information to Whistleblowers


On Monday, the IRS released final regulations regarding disclosure of return information by the Treasury Department in connection with written contracts among the IRS, whistleblowers and, if applicable, their legal representatives (TD 9516).

 

The new IRS Whistleblower Office may determine during the course of an investigation that it needs the assistance of a whistleblower or the whistleblower’s legal representative and may determine that it has to disclose returns or return information in order for the whistleblower to be able to render assistance. Such disclosures are authorized for tax administration purposes by IRC § 6103(n).

 

The final regulations issued in TD 9516 describe the circumstances under which officers and employees of the Treasury Department may disclose return information to whistleblowers and, if applicable, their legal representatives, in connection with written contracts for services relating to the detection of violations of the internal revenue laws or related statutes.

 

The regulations specify that disclosures “shall be made only to the extent the IRS deems it necessary in connection with the reasonable or proper performance of the contract.” However, the regulations also say that “[d]isclosures may include, but are not limited to, disclosures to accomplish properly any purpose or activity of the nature described in section 6103(k)(6) and the regulations thereunder.” Section 6103(k)(6) authorizes disclosures for investigative purposes.

 

The regulations forbid the whistleblower from further disclosing or otherwise using the disclosed return information and subject them to civil and criminal penalties. The regulations also require whistleblowers to comply with any other safeguards the IRS may prescribe.

 

The final regulations are effective upon their publication in the Federal Register.

 

More from the JofA:

 

 Find us on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter

 

SPONSORED REPORT

How the election may affect taxation of business income

This report summarizes recent proposals to reform the U.S. business income tax system and considers the path to enactment of any such legislation.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

Did you follow 2016’s biggest accounting news?

CPAs will remember 2016 as a year of new standards and new faces. How well did you follow the biggest accounting events? The 7 questions in this quiz will help you find out