Sen. Grassley questioning IRS whistleblower problems

May 10, 2012
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, is probing the IRS and the Treasury Department about why the IRS whistleblower office is slow to pay out whistleblower rewards. Grassley expressed his “extreme disappointment in the management of the program” in a letter to the agency.

“The IRS does not have a problem attracting whistleblowers,” Grassley said. “The IRS has a problem processing whistleblower information and compensating whistleblowers in a timely manner. I’m hearing frustration from whistleblowers, and my worst fears are coming true. The lack of progress is demoralizing whistleblowers, and they might stop coming forward. That would be a bad outcome for the taxpayers.”

Grassley wrote to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to seek a status update on several benchmarks that would indicate progress in the whistleblower program. The letter is the latest step in Grassley’s oversight of the whistleblower office.

Grassley authored the 2006 law improving the IRS whistleblower office. He modeled the improvements after the successful 1986 whistleblower amendments to the federal False Claims Act, which have brought back more than $30 billion to the federal treasury and deterred even more fraudulent activity.