SEC whistleblowers who report companies bribing foreign tax and revenue officials may be eligible for a reward under the Dodd-Frank program. SEC-regulated companies and their subsidiaries and affiliates will sometimes bribe foreign tax and revenue officials to obtain tax benefits for their companies outside of the United States.
Companies will pay foreign revenue officials to avoid tax audits or to lower their tax bills. These payments are often made either through government relations personnel or indirectly through third parties, such as accounting and tax consultants. Companies also have bribed tax and revenue officials to obtain expedited VAT returns and tax refunds.
Oftentimes foreign revenue and tax officials will dispute or challenge a company’s tax estimate. These foreign tax cases can take a long time and be very time-consuming and expensive for companies to pursue. Companies will sometimes use foreign lawyers or consultants to bribe officials in order to obtain a speedy resolution to the case.
Anyone who has knowledge of an SEC-regulated company bribing a foreign tax or revenue official should consult with counsel who has experience filing confidential Dodd-Frank reward submissions, as this could be very valuable information.