ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle (Image: AAP/Kelly Barnes)

Any hopes that the government was quietly backing away from its war on whistleblowers have been dashed after the Commonwealth signalled it would push ahead with the prosecution of Australian Tax Office (ATO) whistleblower Richard Boyle.

Boyle is facing life in prison for his role in exposing unethical debt collection practices inside the ATO. Three external reviews corroborated many of Boyle's concerns.

The Commonwealth signalled it may walk away from the case in March, but told a hearing on Thursday it would instead push ahead with the charges.