Whistleblower’s Rights of Appeal Taken Away

Business Finance Government Legal Society

(Spin Digit Editorial):- Washington, D.C, District of Columbia Jul 13, 2022 (Issuewire.com) – In the case of Meidinger v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court restored the decision-making authority of the IRS Whistleblower Office. It removed the appeal right of a Whistleblower. The Court ruled that when the IRS Whistleblower Office issued a final determination as a rejection of a claim, the Court had no jurisdictional authority to review its decision.

In 2006, Congress upgraded the IRS Whistleblower law, removing the discretionary authority of the IRS for determining amounts of rewards. If the Whistleblower was dissatisfied with the determination, it gave the Whistleblower the right to have the tax Court review the administrative procedures. The Tax Court would utilize its reviewing authority under the Administrative Procedures Act to determine if the IRS abused its discretionary authority.

A final determination of no reward can be made in two manners a rejection or a denial. Rejection is a determination that relates solely to the Whistleblower and the information on the face of the claim that pertains to the Whistleblower. A rejection says the Whistleblower has no right to submit a claim.  Denial is a determination that relates to or implicates taxpayer information. A denial usually is issued after the IRS has investigated the merits of the claim, determined no tax violation has taken place, or the claim is not worthy of an investigation.

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In the final rejection determination letter, the Whistleblower Office was supposed to explain the rejection and allow the Whistleblower an opportunity to resubmit the claim. Where a denial is given, the Whistleblower Office must review the administrative procedures with the Whistleblower and provide a debriefing. Instead of issuing a denial, the Whistleblower Office can issue a rejection, give no explanation, or hold any debriefing conference. The Whistleblower cannot challenge a rejection.

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Source :Roy J. Meidinger

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