$104 Million Whistleblower Birkenfeld sets off explosion of IRS whistleblowers

Whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld who set the record for the highest rewarded whistle blower in U.S. history has kicked off a rash of individuals coming forward to enter the IRS whistleblower reporting program to report major tax evasion of individuals and corporations. Birkenfeld, now living in New Hampshire lead the IRS to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. taxes owed on money hidden in Swiss Bank Accounts. He once worked for UBS AG.  According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, as of April a total of 1,387 whistleblowers had reported 9,540 taxpayers since the IRS beefed up its whistleblower program. Whistleblowers have some options beyond the IRS program. A new whistleblower program at the Securities and Exchange Commission has just completed its first years and allows a whistleblower to collect upto 30% of what the government recovers. In Birkenfeld’s case banks had to alter the way they are doing business in Swizterland, although expert say that this is just the tip of the iceberg of tax evaders. Accounts of rich Americans hide moneys in the Caymen Islands, Bermuda, Brussels and the Isle of Man. Offshore tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions hold trillions of dollars in assets. It is believed that Americans evade more than $300 million in U.S. taxes each year through the use of offshore tax schemes. In 2003 the IRS estimated that 500,000 taxpayers had offshore bank accounts and were accessing the funds with offshore credit cards. In addition, new tax havens are popping up in Singapore Luxemburg and Brazil.