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IRS Sets Record Year for Whistleblower Rewards

The Internal Revenue Service issued its annual report for FY 2018.

It confirmed that the whistleblower reward program triggered collections of over $1.4 billion in sanction from tax fraudsters.

Whistleblowers were paid an average reward of 21.7%, resulting in over $300 million in awards to whistleblowers.

“This was the best news of the year for whistleblowers. The IRS program is now working, and working remarkably well,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, who represents numerous whistleblowers before the IRS and also serves, pro bono, as the Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.

The report confirms the following facts related to the IRS program:

  • In FY 2018 the IRS determined that whistleblowers were entitled to $312,207,590 in awards.
  • The U.S. government collected $1,441,255,859 in sanctions as a result of whistleblower disclosures.
  • The Average whistleblower reward was set at 21.7%, a significant increases from FY 2017, when the average reward was only 17%.

The full IRS report can be found here.

“In 2012 the IRS shocked the Swiss banking system when it made the largest individual whistleblower reward in history, paying Swiss bank whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld $104 million. Today’s report will have an equal impact. Whistleblowers who witness tax frauds will be encouraged to take the risk, and report the crimes. Fraudsters beware.” Kohn added.

Dean Zerbe, the Policy Counsel for the NWC who works extensively with Kohn and the NWC on tax whistleblower cases, said: “Finally, the IRS has hit a home run for whistleblowers in 2018 – and honest taxpayers saw a huge win. These are game changing numbers.”


For more information contact: Farhat Muruwat – – 202.536.4503

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