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At a Finance Committee hearing this morning, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa expressed concern over the Internal Revenue Service's delays in processing the whistleblower claims used to identify big-dollar tax fraud. Grassley is concerned that the IRS' slow progress already is discouraging whistleblowers with valuable information from coming forward, to the detriment of US taxpayers. He wrote his latest in a series of letters to the agency on this topic last week after learning that the IRS whistleblower office director attended a conference in Miami, when the director's time might have been better spent reviewing whistleblower cases. Grassley is the author of expanded tax whistleblower incentives enacted in 2006 that echo incentives he co-authored in 1986 as amendments to the federal False Claims Act. The 1986 whistleblower provisions have recovered more than $30 billion to the US Treasury that otherwise would have been lost to fraud. Grassley said the IRS needs to better settle its whistleblower issues in order to achieve the same kind of success on behalf of honest taxpayers. In addition, the committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, reminded Treasury officials of his support for Grassley's receiving complete, timely responses to his inquiries.