Microsoft has sued the Internal Revenue Service to get more details about a contract between the tax agency and a law firm the IRS hired to look into the Redmond-based software company’s finances.
Quinn Emmanuel Urqhart and Sullivan, a business litigation firm, was hired by the IRS to investigate Microsoft’s internal transactions of moving money from one subsidiary to another from 2004 to 2009. Microsoft wants to know exactly what the contract between the two entities entails. The complaint claims that Quinn Emmanuel is being paid more than $2 million for its services, but Microsoft wants more details about the firm’s agreement.
According to Microsoft’s complaint, the IRS “unlawfully withheld” information. Microsoft filed a Freedom of Information Act request for details on the contract, but the IRS did not completely respond to the request. The suit filed today could compel the agency to provide the details Microsoft wants.
A Microsoft spokesperson offered the following comment in a statement emailed to GeekWire: “Government agencies, funded by citizens, have an obligation of transparency under the Freedom of Information Act. The IRS has failed to meet the deadline to respond to a valid FOIA request, and we’re simply asking a Court to ensure that the IRS meets its obligations.”
A representative for the IRS declined to comment on the litigation.
Microsoft’s complaint is embedded below.