The term “tax fraud” can trigger a panic attack for many people. After all, it was the downfall of celebrities like Martha Stewart, Nicolas Cage, and Pete Rose. Even the most powerful companies like Amazon, Gap, Apple, and Microsoft have dealt with tax fraud scandals that cost them millions of dollars. But for those who spot a company or someone else trying to perpetrate this fraud, it can seem like an overwhelming or thankless prospect to call them out. These people are known as whistleblowers, and are entitled to protection under the law. Here is what you need to know.
What Is Tax Fraud?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes it their business to make sure all income is being properly reported so that it can be taxed, and being found guilty can have serious legal consequences. There are a number of different ways that the unscrupulous may try to avoid paying their share of taxes. Filing a false tax return that is not honest about that year’s true earnings is one way someone might try to avoid paying more taxes. Another is to move money to a bank or other institution in a foreign country, attempting to hide its existence from the IRS. For those found guilty of such acts, the punishment can both civil (through lawsuits in the proper court) and criminal (which can mean massive fines and might land the perpetrator in prison).
Legal Protections For Whistleblowers
In order to encourage people to report tax violations, Congress has passed a number of bills to legally protect whistleblowers. The law now bans retaliation against those individuals who speak up about fraudulent acts that they are aware of. In addition to this, a whistleblower might be entitled to a “finders fee,” which means that they can collect a portion of the money (usually 10% to 30% depending on the circumstances) that the IRS collects from the guilty party.
Seek the Help of an Attorney
It is important to note that a tax fraud case can fall under the purview of multiple laws, depending on who the perpetrator is and what kind of entity they are. This means that you may be entitled to whistleblower protections under a number of different laws. Finding the right one often takes the knowledge of a lawyer, so be sure to contact and discuss your situation with one before filing anything. This way, you can ensure that you receive the full protections provided by law.
Contact a Qui Tam Lawyer To Discuss Your Rights As A Whistleblower Today
If you suspect that your employer, associate, client, competitor, or any other professional entity is attempting to defraud the federal or state government, it is critical to receive sound legal advice. If you are exercising your rights as a whistleblower you deserve the best representation possible. The skilled attorneys at Begelman & Orlow, P.C. represents clients in whistleblower cases, Qui Tam actions, and a number of other fraud actions in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and across the country. Call 866-627-7052 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 411 Route 70 East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, and other at 101 West Elm Street, Conshohocken, PA 19428.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.