Every schoolchild is told that no one likes a tattletale, but once you've become a taxpayer, the benefits of reporting a tax cheat undoubtedly become apparent. In fiscal year 2018 alone, the Internal Revenue Service dished out $312 million USD to whistleblowers who informed on tax evaders trying to avoid paying their fair share. The IRS collected $1.441 billion in taxes, penalties, and interest from those would-be cheats. Interestingly, the payout to the whistleblowers was approximately nine times more than the $33.9 million doled out in 2017, suggesting that the program is catching on in a big way. In total, the IRS made 217 awards in FY2018, with an average amount equal to 21.7 percent of what was eventually collected by the agency.
Inside the IRS:
- The first U.S. income tax was instituted by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 as a way to pay for the Civil War.
- The legendary gangster Al Capone went to prison on tax evasion charges; he was sentenced to 11 years in jail.
- The common IRS 1040 tax form has grown from three total pages in 1914 to today's document that contains 101 pages of instructions alone.