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D.C. Legislation Would Extend False Claims Act Treatment to Taxes

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On February 5, 2013, D.C. Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) presented the “False Claims Act of 2013” to the Committees on Finance and Revenue.  This bill would extend the current False Claims Act which fails to apply to violations of the tax code.

The False Claims Act of 2013 would enable whistleblowers to receive a reward for providing the District with non-public information that assists the District of Columbia in collecting tax funds that it is owed.   Under the proposed law, tax fraud whistleblowers would be eligible for a reward only if the D.C. Government succeeding in recovering the owed tax payments.

The propose law would allow the government and whistleblowers to file a tax-based claim under the False Claims Act if the tax fraud in question exceeded  $350,000 and if the entity or taxpayer has an income in excess of $1 million.

The introduction of this bill in D.C. is significant as is part of a broader trend of states and local jurisdictions considering extensions of local whistleblower statutes.  If D.C. passes this bill, it would join the State of New York, which recently passed a False Claims Act statue allowing qui tam recoveries for those who report significant tax fraud.

The Employment Law Group® law firm regularly represents IRS, SEC, and CFTC whistleblowers.  Our whistleblower lawyers recently published an article, “Rewarding Whistleblowers for Disclosing Tax Violations to the IRS” for The CPA Journal.

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