Department of Justice lawyers claimed Wednesday the IRS cannot be sued for damages by the estimated 330,000 taxpayers victimized by hackers who earlier this year breached the federal tax agency’s computer files.
Plaintiffs Becky Welborn and Wendy Windrich’s claim of damage under the Privacy Act and the Administrative Procedures Act cannot be pursued because the doctrine of Sovereign Immunity, which holds the federal government immune to damage claims unless it agrees to such litigation.
Without such an agreement from the IRS, the federal courts have no jurisdiction over the damage claim filed by Welborn and Windrich, according to Justice Department lawyers.
The government’s lawyers also argued in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that the tax agency can only be sued on claims involving alleged violations of the IRS tax code’s privacy provisions to protect the confidentiality of documents submitted by taxpayers.
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