Tax Law: Where the Right to Bodily Privacy Means Something?

The Ninth Circuit ruled today that the IRS may not invoke qualified immunity for allegedly breaching the taxpayer’s Fourth Amendment right to privacy, when a (female) agent required the (female) taxpayer to use the bathroom in the taxpayer’s own home in the presence of the (female) IRS agent.

The reasoning in Ioane v. Hodges? “The agent’s general interests in preventing destruction of evidence and promoting officer safety did not justify the scope or manner of the intrusion into plaintiff ’s most basic subject of privacy, her naked body.”

The taxpayer’s husband, also under IRS investigation in the case, had been permitted by a different (male) IRS agent to use the bathroom alone.

Add this to the pile of the cases worthy of  rewriting for Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions – The Second Volume.

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