Attorney-at-Law

SUNSET IN OGDEN

In Uncategorized on 06/02/2015 at 16:38

The IRS Whistleblower Office, hereinafter referred to as the  Ogden Sunseteers, are not the sole repository of whistleblowers’ unbosomings, and if a whistleblower tells his/her tale to others of the Federales’ anointed, that doesn’t keep the whistleblower from partaking in the Section 7623 largesse.

Here’s Whistleblower 21276-13W, and pendant Whistleblower 21277-13W, filed 6/2/15, as 144 T. C. 15, from His Honor Big Julie, Judge Julian I. Jacobs, hereinafter HHBJJJIJ.

Our blower was part of a pirate CD gang, whose members stayed offshore to avoid the forces of righteousness. After the G-Men nailed the blower, he spilled that the gang hid offshore, but he could hand the Feds the gang member with the goods (hereinafter “the dude”), which the blower did not himself have.

So blower and spouse (hereinafter “Mrs Blower”) conned the dude onto the shores of our happy land, whereupon the forces aforesaid collared the dude. Facing durance vile, the dude unbosomed in extenso, whereupon the forces of righteousness scooped up a cool $74 million. Then the blower and Mrs Blower sent in Forms 211, requesting the split.

Oh no, said the Sunseteers, you filed the forms after the IRS grabbed the gold.

“The IRS asserts that the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-432, div. A, sec. 406(b), 120 Stat. at 2959 (TRHCA sec. 406(b)), provides the Whistleblower Office with exclusive discretion to either investigate the taxpayer or refer the information provided by the whistleblower to an IRS operating division. The IRS further asserts that under TRHCA sec. 406(b) a whistleblower is ineligible for an I.R.C. sec. 7623(b) award if he/she provides the information to an operating division of the IRS before submitting the information, via a Form 211, to the Whistleblower Office.” 144 T. C. 15, at p. 2.

Before you say, “What a crock!”, let’s listen to the more genteel HHBJJJIJ.

“Oh no,” says HHBJJJIJ.

“The documents in petitioners’ administrative files were insufficient for the Court to conduct an effective review of this matter. The only documents in each petitioner’s administrative file were (1) the Form 211, (2) an acknowledgment of the receipt of the Form 211 assigning a claim number to the respective petitioner, (3) a letter informing the respective petitioner that his/her claim was still under consideration, (4) a Form 211 Classification Checksheet, and (5) a denial letter stating that the information provided did not result in the collection of proceeds.” 144 T. C. 15, at p. 4

So there was a trial, whereat it was established that the blower and Mrs Blower enticed the dude into the Land of the Free, playing upon his greed, and assisting the FBI, ICE and IRS, and even Scotland Yard, in nabbing the dude and extracting from him the tools wherewith to harvest the ill-gotten gains of the gang.

At the end of the James-Bond-type undercover derring-do, the AUSA on the case told blower and Mrs Blower “The assistance and support of * * * [petitioners] in supporting the investigation was exceptionally helpful * * * In short, but for the work, information, and effort of * * * [petitioners] in assisting the federal government, the government’s successful action against * * * [the Targeted Business], as it was carried out, would not have been possible. * * * The information provided by the whistleblower [sic] was essential and substantially contributed to the government’s actions against * * * [the Targeted Business] that led to the collection of $74,131,694.42.: 144 T. C,. 15, at p. 14.

Ya get the feeling that the sun is setting over Ogden, UT, real fast.

And before the purists amongst us denounce blower and Mrs Blower as co-felons with the dude and his friends, nota bene that when skullduggers are doing the nasty, they do not invite Archbishop Welby of Canterbury and Pope Francis to observe and rebuke them for their evil deeds.

All Ogden did was send the usual “we got no money” form. There was no 11369 Confidential Evaluation in the file, just a note from the “classifier” saying “closed – no pay” and a sign-off from the team manager, who reviewed little or nothing of the file.

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act did not make Ogden the gatekeeper of whistleblowing. The old system, pre-Ogden, worked fine as far as uncovering the nasty; implementation was lacking. It took too long for the worthy blowers to get their piece of the boodle.

“It is clear from the statute that the Whistleblower Office is charged with being the central office for investigating the legitimacy of a whistleblower’s award claim, not necessarily the underlying tax issue. To interpret TRHCA sec. 406(b)(1)(B) as respondent does would mean the Whistleblower Office is authorized to open an examination relating to a taxpayer. But the Whistleblower Office has neither sufficient staff nor institutional expertise to investigate taxpayers. See Internal Revenue Manual pt. 1.1.26.1 and 1.1.26.2 (June 8, 2010) (discussing the roles and mission of the Whistleblower Office). And were the Whistleblower Office to expand its staff and expertise sufficiently to conduct examinations relating to taxpayers brought to its attention by whistleblowers, such expansion would duplicate the resources already available in IRS operating divisions.” 144 T. C. 15, at pp. 23-24.

And if the Sunseteers started an investigation, they could blow the blowers’ cover, in direct violation of law and leading to an absurd result. Anyway, on the trial, an IRS auditor said he wouldn’t slow down the investigation to let blower and Mrs Blower file Forms 211.

“Despite respondent’s assertions, we are mindful that the Forms 211 which petitioners filed anticipate that a whistleblower may approach an operating division of the IRS before notifying the Whistleblower Office. See Form 211, Line 8, which instructs the whistleblower to provide the ‘Name & Title of IRS employee to whom violation was reported’, and line 9 which asks for the ‘Date violation reported’.

“Form 211 was revised in March 2014. It was not, and never has been, altered to discourage whistleblowers from approaching an operating division of the IRS. To the contrary, revised Form 211 expands the detail about a whistleblower’s directly contacting investigating agencies before contacting the Whistleblower Office, including providing space for the whistleblower to report any information submitted to other Federal agencies as well as State authorities. See Form 211, Line 5, which instructs the whistleblower to provide the ‘[n]ame and title and contact information of IRS employee to whom violation was first reported, if known’. See also line 6, which instructs the whistleblower to provide ‘[d]ate violation reported (in number 5), if applicable’;. And line 7 asks: ‘Did you submit this information to other Federal or State Agencies’? And Line 8, which states: ‘If yes in number 7, list the Agency Name and date submitted’. If respondent’s position were correct, these lines would be superfluous; in fact, they would be misleading to an unwary whistleblower.” 144 T. C. 15, at pp. 24-25.

I quote in extenso, for the benefit of TIGTA.

HHBJJJIJ did not rule on standard of review, because the parties did not go into the matter on the trial.

“Because it rejected petitioners’ claims as untimely, the Whistleblower Office did not conduct a review, investigation, or evaluation of the merits of petitioners’ claims for award. We believe the parties should have an opportunity to resolve these cases on the basis of our holding herein. We will require them to file a status report in accordance with an order to be issued.” 144 T. C. 15, at p. 28.

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