Wednesday, November 2, 2011

G-20 countries should consider whistleblowers to help stop tax evasion

Many countries are trying to crack down on tax evasion as a way to increase revenues. But they are overlooking a powerful weapon: whistleblowers.

Tax evasion and compliance is on the agenda of the group of 20 countries this week. Only the U.S. has a program to reward whistleblowers for reporting tax evasion or other tax law violations. The Internal Revenue Service will reward whistleblowers 15 percent to 30 percent of funds recovered as a result of the whistleblower's information and help if the amount exceeds $2 million, including tax, penalties and interest.

The U.K. took a major step this week to encourage whistleblowers with information about financial crime. The Serious Fraud Office set up a whistleblower hotline and said it protect the whistleblower's identity.