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Whistleblower protection includes potential for monetary reward

Did you know that you might be eligible for civil compensation as a whistleblower if you provide credible information leading to the identification of an Internal Revenue Service violator? In addition to general whistleblower protection for reporting your California employer's financial misdeeds, you could actually be eligible for a financial incentive through the courts. Whistleblowers may qualify if they provide specific information related to the collection of penalties, interest, taxes and other amounts from commercial violators.

Whistleblowers may be eligible for this compensation if the amount collected from the commercial violator exceeds $2 million and certain other qualifications are met. The IRS may pay as much as 30 percent of the gross amount that is collected to the whistleblower who broke the case. Blowing the whistle has never been more profitable! A variety of rules and regulations govern the distribution of funds related to whistleblower lawsuits; an attorney can provide additional information about qualifying elements of your whistleblower case.

Keep in mind that the IRS is looking for solid, specific information about tax violations. That information could include financial statements and other hard-copy records indicating a tax misstep. The federal government will not provide an award for an individual who simply presents a "hunch" or an uneducated guess about an employer or commercial enterprise.

Too often, California residents are afraid of blowing the whistle because they believe they will be left financially destitute after wrongful termination or a lengthy civil suit. The fact is that the federal government and the state of California support those who have the courage to dedicate time to stopping fraud, which is why whistleblowers are rewarded with financial incentives. These programs can take some of the trepidation away from workers who may be hesitating about reporting a financial misdeed. You could be eligible for a major reward if you identify fraud at your workplace.

Source: Internal Revenue Service, "Whistleblower - Informant Award," accessed July 22, 2015

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