On an issue of first impression, the U.S. Tax Court held that the whistleblower statute does not provide relief to a taxpayer who has been denied an award where the Internal Revenue Service did not initiate an administrative or judicial action and collecting proceeding (Cohen v. Commissioner, T.C., No.26925-11W, 139 T.C. No. 12, 10/9/12).
RaymondCohen was a certified public accountant. He provided the IRS whistleblower information that petitioner believed to be actionable on Form 211, concerning information that he believed showed that a public corporation was holding unclaimed proceeds from uncashed dividend checks and unredeemed bonds and not reporting the unclaimed property to the state comptroller as required by State Law and that the more than $700 million in unclaimed assets represented unreported income for Federal Income Tax purposes.
The IRS notified Mr. Cohen that the matter had been assigned to his Whistleblower Office in Ogden, Utah. The Whistleblower Office evaluated the claim to determine whether an investigation was warranted and an award was appropriate. A few weeks later the Whistleblower Office informed Mr. Cohen that he was not eligible for an award because no proceeds were collected.
Mr. Cohen requested the Whistleblower Office to reconsider the claim. The Whistleblower Office reiterated the denial, noting that the claim was based on publicly available information. Mr. Cohen filed a petition to this Tax Court to review thai denial.
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