Tax Court in Brief | Whistleblower 972-17W v. Commissioner | Whistleblower Entitled to Unredacted (Mainly) Administrative Record

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The Tax Court in Brief – July 11th – July 15th, 2022

Freeman Law’s “The Tax Court in Brief” covers every substantive Tax Court opinion, providing a weekly brief of its decisions in clear, concise prose.

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Tax Litigation:  The Week of July 11th, 2022, through July 15th, 2022

Whistleblower 972-17W v. Comm’r, 159 T.C. No. 1 | July 13, 2022 | Toro, J. | Dkt. No. 972-17W


Short SummaryA whistleblower (WB) provided information to the IRS under section 7623.  Based on this information, the IRS initiated actions against three taxpayers and collected proceeds.  However, the IRS Whistleblower Office (WBO) denied WB’s claim for a mandatory award under section 7623(b).  WB filed a petition with the United States Tax Court, challenging the WBO’s determination.

The Tax Court ordered the IRS to file unredacted copies of the administrative record of the three taxpayers.  The IRS filed a redacted copy of the administrative record and requested that the court excuse him from filing an unredacted copy due to section 6103.  After the Tax Court ordered the IRS to submit the unredacted copy for review in camera, the IRS moved for the court to modify its order, arguing again that section 6103 does not permit the IRS to disclose to the court the information that the IRS redacted.

Key Issues

Primary Holdings:

Key Points of Law:

Insight: The opinion in Whistleblower 972-17W is a win for whistleblowers.  Under this opinion, the Tax Court may order the IRS to provide the whistleblower with unredacted copies of the target’s administrative file, subject to limited exceptions otherwise discussed in the opinion.