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Whistleblower Suit Against Citigroup

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:45 pm
by Number Six
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/busin ... =RecEngine

What stood out for me here was what standing did the professor have to file the suit? If this suit is successful it should set a useful precedent to allow other whistleblowers to file similar suits.

Re: Whistleblower Suit Against Citigroup

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:27 pm
by Hyrion
I'm more curious how an economics professor got hold of the detailed tax documents that a Corporation filed with the IRS.

Citigroup trades on the NYSE so it's a public company in that context.

Documents I've seen presented in annual statements and such don't include the specific details that would be in a tax filing - which I would deduce one would need in order to complete one's own analysis of what taxes should have been paid.

Perhaps there's a particular form that needs to be filed with the SEC that would contain such details?

Or can that kind of information be acquired through a freedom of information request?

Edited to add:

Ahh - I see. After finishing a review of the article, it's not so much a "whistleblower vs citigroup" as it is a "whistleblower vs the federal government decision on a tax exemption". Which means it was likely public knowledge and the actual detailed tax documents wouldn't have been part of the picture. Scratch my original curiosity.

Re: Whistleblower Suit Against Citigroup

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:49 pm
by Dr. Caligari
What stood out for me here was what standing did the professor have to file the suit? If this suit is successful it should set a useful precedent to allow other whistleblowers to file similar suits.


New York State has a statute-- unique to New York, as far as I can tell-- which allows a whistleblower to file a suit against a defendant who underpaid New York State taxes. (The recovery goes to the State, but the plaintiff-whistleblower gets a cut.) Since New York tax law borrows from the federal IRC, an underpayment of federal taxes by a New York resident will almost always result in an underpayment of New York taxes. So the lawsuit here-- although aimed at a federal IRS ruling-- technically challenges only Citibank's New York State tax filings.