'Hunting money'
Tax Cheat Rap Sheet:
Week ending May 18, 2007

Whistleblower wins

Whistle2 It wasn't printed on any calendars, but last week was National Whistleblower Week. It's an effort to raise public awareness of the importance of reporting wrongdoing and abuses, whether in public agencies or private industry, and to garner support for increased protections for whistleblowers.

More than 40 national public interest groups were in D.C. for last week's whistleblower panels, presentations, speeches, seminars and special events.

And while the IRS wasn't on any official program last week, the agency also is cashing in on the whistleblowing trend. Literally.

In his May 16 Tax Report column, Wall Street Journal writer Tom Herman noted that since a new law was enacted last December to increase rewards for ratting out tax cheats, the IRS has received almost two dozen notices of (and reward claims for reporting) tax evasion, some involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

I elaborate a bit on this pay-per-snitch concept in my other tax blog, Eye on the IRS, but I want to reiterate one point here: We all should report criminal activity, tax or otherwise, when we discover it because such actions are illegal. It shouldn't take a promise of big bucks to get us to do our civic duty.

And we shouldn't have to fear reprisals from our employers, coworkers or society in general for doing what is right.

Tax Cheat Rap Sheet: For yet another week, I'm a bit blog backlogged, but I plan to get the weekly report of tax miscreants, alleged and/or convicted, published soon.

And thanks to readers who've written me with their concerns about some seemingly inappropriate tax actions they've run across. They, and you, can report suspected tax-cheating activities here.


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