Professor's Legislation Helps IRS Collect

Rosenberg first suggested the whistleblower legislation in 1997, and it was enacted last year after he teamed with Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), chair of the Senate Finance Committee and a strong supporter of whistleblower laws.

Under the new law, individuals who report tax evasion can receive between 15 and 30 percent of the taxes, interest, and penalties that the government collects as a result. The legislation applies to cases of $2 million or more.

Whistleblower laws have proven effective in the corporate world, with employees becoming increasingly willing to talk about illegal actions happening in the corner office. Backers of the new legislation hope the same thing will happen with tax law. According to IRS estimates, the difference between what Americans owe in federal taxes and what they actually pay every year is more than $300 billion.

"Nobody wants to pay taxes and there are plenty of incentives for people to cheat on their taxes," Rosenberg said. "If someone cheats and you report it properly, now you can get money instead of just losing your job."

Rosenberg has researched and published extensively in the field of tax law. He is co-author, with USF School of Law Adjunct Professor Dominic Daher, of The Law of Federal Income Taxation (West Publishing, 2008).