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New Law Protects Whistleblowers for Reporting Tax Misdeeds

Gavel with handcuffs and money on the wooden table. Crime and law concept.
By Andrew Leonatti on September 26, 2019 12:00 PM

Tax law compliance is typically one of the most difficult aspects of owning a business. Many mistakes are simple errors made in good faith and not deliberate attempts to skirt federal, state, or local tax laws.

A new law, however, will provide additional federal protection for whistleblowers when a business owner is not making a simple error in regard to paying their taxes.

Taxpayer First Act

Under the new law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now investigate complaints of retaliation against employees who report:

  • Underpayment of taxes
  • Violations of IRS regulations and laws
  • Allegations of tax fraud

What Does That Mean for Workers?

In plain English, the law means that if you suspect your boss is underpaying taxes or breaking any federal tax laws, you can report those misdeeds to the IRS, and your boss cannot fire you, demote you, or reduce your pay for doing so. The new law also protects you if you assist investigators or testify against your employer.

If your boss does retaliate against you, you can file a complaint with your local OSHA office. You will have a deadline of 90 days from the date of the retaliation to file a complaint.

Go Through the Steps Correctly

OSHA offers whistleblower protections for many reasons, including health and safety hazards. However, you will still likely feel a great deal of anxiety about choosing to come forward. Blowing the whistle on your employer is not a decision anyone should take lightly.

If you are thinking about coming forward, it's important that you comply with the relevant law to protect your rights. That means reporting within the required timeframe. It's also wise to gather any evidence of wrongdoing that you have, which could include emails, text messages, and reports.

Finally, you should strongly consider talking about your options with an employment law attorney to better protect your legal rights. Your conversations with your attorney will remain confidential.

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