Skip to main content

Can I sue The IRS for harassment?

Corning, NY |

I have been doing battle with a local RO Revenue Officer for more than 2 years. He has never been honest, or forthwith with information that I have requested, and he has outright refused to release information that will lay credence to prove that I am correct. They have made threats to take my business, etc. even though I have paid more than they've requested in our payment agreement. I have placed my request in writing, and now they commenced an audit. I know that my business is clean, but I am frustrated with their bravado and their intentional withholding of pertinent information that will prove that I am right and they are wrong. What is the best way to sue them?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


You may be able to sue the IRS, but doing so will be quite difficult. You might also be able to obtain a restraining order against the IRS for their harrassment, but such depends on your state's laws (again, you are likely facing an uphill battle). In any case, you should consider having a attorney review the matter to determine whether any of the RO's behavior is actionable. A better route is likely to work with a tax attorney for your the IRS collections and audit. Such an attorney could ultimately provide the most relief (by minimizing any taxes, penalties, interest, monthly payments . . . and by finding a remedy that get the RO off of your back).

Andrew J Wyman


Usually it is the IRS who seeks information from the taxpayer. Later, in order to get money from the IRS for taking an unreasonable position, it is the taxpayer who must have been shown to cooperate.

Under FOIA, the goverment must give you everything that's relevant.

I don't know what sort of informaition you could mean. The taxpayer has all the info about his business and what he paid.

Remember the Tax Court may be looking at all of this in the future. Use a tax attorney take his advice.

You need to start planning for Tax Court NOW.

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.



My concerns are as follows: We entered into a repayment agreement in April 2010. I was asked, and subsequently made two "Good Faith" payments for the months of February and March of 2010. I was told to make 6 payments of $2000 per month, for ~ 7 years. This included about $60,000 in penalties, fines, surcharges, etc. I was also told to file all outstanding forms, and make monthly deposits. I was to deliver them to the RO every month, with a check for $2000. I did this for 6 months, as requested, but in November we started receiving letters from the IRS that we were in danger of breaking our repayment agreement. The local RO said "it's a computer glitch" and he would address it. Well, he never did and we went into default. He NEVER said anything. We entered 2011 and started making payments in April and May, and this JO explained that since we were in default that we needed to pay the entire amount in full or they'd take my business/property which is valued at approximately 1 Million. I fought it with the tax advocate, our congressman, etc. and they backed down, for a while. I also continued to make payments, of $2000 per month, even though we were supposedly in default, to show our resolve. In November, after paying for another 6 months, the same JO explained that our payment defaulted b/c he entered our payment agreement as May through October not April through September. Even though we met with him, in person, every month to give him the check, and the bank receipt of the monthly withholding's. Since February of 2010, we've paid more than $40,000 and we were only supposed to pay $24,000. Believe me, it's extremely hard to make these additional payments as it is since we own a restaurant. After asking this JO for the notes, and contract that we entered in 2010, he flatly refused. I then asked his supervisor and he said to place this request in writing, which we did. This request was also denied. I then requested a new RO and she "reviewed the case" and stands by her predecessor's decision. Of course, a bunch of malarkey. I then asked one more time for this information and it was denied and they told me that I would need to pay $5500 per month for the next 10 months or they would take my building and business. I explained that if they failed to honor my request that I would send correspondence to Ms. Rios, the Treasurer of the US. She failed to provide me with this request, so I made good on mine. I have yet to hear from the Treasurer, but I am now being audited. Of course, they believe that they can push me around, but I know that they're in the wrong. How do I prove my point, get information that we entered into a legal binding contract, get them off my back, etc.

Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr


Sounds as if they are digging deeper to put you off. Sounds also as if they want to dig around and compute your ability to repay. Have you had a collection due process hearing yet? Considered appealing that to the Tax Court (should you lose?) Have you looked at bankruptcy? I don't know if the business is its own entity, nor if all the tax returns were done (dischargeability depends upon it). I also don't know the original manner in which the tax was owed. I am surprised that your congressman, via the office of congressional liason was not able to do anything. Generally getting into bankruptcy court with a chapter 11 plan gives you an ability to do discovery. Getting into district court seems far off because you normally have to sue for a refund to get the tax case there. Is there any chance you could get a business loan and use part of it to pay the IRS off? If this story, in all its detail (assuming no contra details being left out) it will be big. If people lose faith and confidence in making a payment plan it will be embarrassing. I'm not sure how you can stop them covering up, without the power of discovery........


You need representation now! And, if you have had representation, you need to consult with someone who regularly represents individuals before the IRS. If you are working with a Revenue Officer, then you likely owe money to the IRS and need to get into some sort of payment plan. Working on such a matter for two years makes no sense. You have the ability to speak to managers up the chain of command, the Office of Appeals, and the Taxpayer Advocate. If you have a payment agreement, they have to honor it. If you need information from the IRS, you need to file a FOIA claim. You shouldn't be thinking about suing the IRS, you should be thinking about resolving your problem. No single employe of the IRS can make you do anything!

Our office would be glad to consult with you to chat about your options and to advise you. I am admitted to NY and regularly reprsent clients there.

Good luck.


Marty Davidoff,, 732-274-1600. This answer is provided for general information only. You should seek advice from an attorney or tax professional.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer