25.3.4 Suits against IRS Employees


  1. Generally suits resulting from employees' official actions should be brought against the United States, not against individual employees. However, this general statement is no guarantee that employees will not be sued.

  2. For a discussion of types of suits that may be brought against the United States as a result of actions taken by an employee of the Government, see

    • IRM, Claims Founded on Tort--Federal Tort Claims Act;

    • IRM, Violations of Constitutional Rights--Bivens Actions;

    • IRM, Civil Damages for Failure to Release Lien; and

    • IRM, Civil Damages for Certain Unauthorized Collection Actions.

  3. See also IRM, Damages - Civil Cause of Action for Unauthorized Collection Action, for procedures for handling these types of administrative claims for damages.

  4. Generally, General Legal Services (GLS) has primary responsibility for suits filed against IRS employees, and will provide advice and assistance to employees sued in their official capacity.


  1. Immediately notify your manager and GLS if you are sued. Forward a copy of the summons and complaint to Advisory, which will coordinate the activities of counsel and other necessary functions. If the suit cites IRC §§ 7213 or 7431, also notify Disclosure.


    Communications with your manager are not protected under the attorney-client privilege. Communications with GLS are protected as stated in the Chief Counsel Directives Manual (CCDM), General Legal Services, Claims, Suits and Related Matters. See IRM

  2. GLS will assist you in preparing an affidavit and securing representation from the Department of Justice, if you desire.

  3. If you are served with a subpoena or other request to testify or produce records in a suit, see IRM, Subpoenas and Requests for IRS Personnel to Testify or Produce Records, for further guidance.