Talking Points: “Whistleblowers are Wanted and Valued”

Corporate Board Member: What is your perspective on the announcement that the IRS is going to pay a whistleblower $104 million?

Jordan Thomas: It’s a very positive development for the IRS whistleblower program because it sends a clear message that people that have information about possible tax violations should come forward and if they do they will be rewarded for doing so. More broadly, the announcement has raised awareness for all of the whistleblower programs in the United States because much of press coverage talked about the IRS whistleblower program as well as the SEC and the False Claims Act programs. As a result, more people are reporting possible violations of the law, both internally and externally.

CBM: And what do you think some of the ramifications are of the payout being so large?

JT: The size of the award raised the profile of the program which will lead some whistleblowers that were on the fence about coming forward to break their silence. And around the same time as this occurred, the SEC issued its first award under the SEC whistleblower program. In that award the SEC awarded 30%, which is the maximum possible award. So you have two noteworthy events occurring around the same time and sending the same message—whistleblowers are wanted and valued.

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