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tax break: Tax Enforcement Under State False Claims Acts

tax break Podcast

Host Rob Kovacev is joined by Miller & Chevalier colleagues Joe Rillotta* and Ian Herbert to discuss tax enforcement under state False Claims Acts.  

The False Claims Act has been around at the federal level since the 1860s.  It generally provides for civil penalties and qui tam enforcement in instances where there is a fraud on the government, and it was actually passed to address procurement fraud during the Civil War.  A lot of states have passed their own versions of the False Claims Act, based on the federal statute.  But tax controversy and compliance lawyers haven't had to worry too much about the False Claims Act, because the federal statute expressly says that it cannot be applied to alleged violations of the tax code.  But then in the 1990s, something interesting started happening: Some states enacted versions of the False Claims Act without any limitation on tax claims (or interpreted their acts to allow such claims). In 2010, New York made a big splash when it expressly amended its statute to allow tax-based enforcement and created a whole component within its Attorney General's office to bring and review such cases. Most recently, in 2021, DC enacted provisions modeled on New York. Some high-profile cases have been brought attempting to redress allegations of state tax evasion though False Claims Acts.  And this raises a lot of questions.


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tax break is not intended and cannot be relied on as legal advice; the content only reflects the thoughts and opinions of its hosts.

tax break is a podcast about tax law, brought to you by Miller & Chevalier and hosted by Loren Ponds and Rob Kovacev. We'll provide you with perspective on select tax issues that will go deeper than what the tax press covers, but not so deep that you’ll have to pull out your regulations or read treatises to follow along. The aim of tax break is to focus only on the tax law issues that we find interesting. Subscribe to tax break wherever you get your podcasts.

*Former Miller & Chevalier attorney