September 10, 2012 / 9:38 PM / in 6 years

IRS issues ruling on UBS tax whistleblower case: lawyers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawyers for a whistleblower who helped the U.S. government in a major tax fraud case against Swiss bank UBS AG said on Monday that authorities have made a decision in their client’s case claiming a whistleblower payment.

The logo of Swiss bank UBS is seen at the company's office in the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich August 10, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Attorneys for Bradley Birkenfeld said in an emailed statement that the Internal Revenue Service has ruled on the claim and that they will announce it at a press conference on Tuesday.

Birkenfeld is seeking a large payout under the IRS’ whistleblower program. He turned over information about UBS to authorities. Later, he was jailed after the government said he withheld other information.

The IRS had no immediate comment.

In January 2010, Birkenfeld began serving a prison term for admitting to conspiracy in helping a former rich client conceal large sums at UBS. Birkenfeld was released from prison last month. He is represented by the National Whistleblowers Center.

The IRS whistleblower office gathers information from people who want to alert the tax-collecting agency about tax misconduct. Whistleblowers can get monetary rewards under the IRS program, which was overhauled in 2006.

Over the years, the office has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for the U.S. government that would not have been collected without tips from whistleblowers.

Birkenfeld provided information about UBS’s dealings with tax-evading clients. The bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement in early 2009 and paid $780 million in fines, penalties, interest and restitution.

Reporting By Kim Dixon, Patrick Temple-West, Lynnley Browning; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh

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