Inspector General Blasts IRS For Conservative Targeting

Agency targeted tea party groups improperly and asked inappropriate questions, audit finds.

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Kevin Lamarque /REUTERS

A tax rebate letter from the Internal Revenue Service.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration strongly criticized the IRS in an audit released late Tuesday into efforts by the agency to target conservative groups for additional scrutiny before awarding tax-exempt status.

The inspector general found that IRS employees inappropriately flagged organizations with “tea party” and “patriots” in their names for reviews that lasted years, and then asked for intrusive information including donor lists and the political activity of organization directors. Tea Party groups had complained of unfair scrutiny in early 2012 though the IRS denied wrongdoing at the time. The audit was undertaken at the request of congressional lawmakers following constituent complaints, and not at the request of the IRS.

According to the audit, IRS officials maintained a “Be On the Look Out ” spreadsheet listing names or phrases that would indicate groups that may be too political to receive  “social welfare” status as 501(c)4′s for additional review. The criteria laid out to the exempt organizations division in June 2011:

  • “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” is referenced in the case file
  • Issues include government spending, government debt or taxes
  • Education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to “make America a better place to live”
  • Statement in the case file criticize how the country is being run

According to the audit, more than 300 groups were flagged for additional review by the IRS, of which 72 included the words “tea party” in the name, 11 included the phrase “9/12″ and 13 included the word “patriots.”

In early 2012 many of these groups received detailed questionnaires asking for information about their donors and the past and potential future political activities of officials. These were among seven unnecessarily intrusive questions asked, the inspector general reported.

In response to the report, IRS officials maintained that the targeting of group names was not done for political reasons, but just for “efficiency” in flagging suspect groups.

“We believe the front-line career employees that made  the decisions acted out of a desire for efficiency and not out of any political or partisan viewpoint,” said Joseph Grant, the acting commissioner for the IRS tax exempt division, in a letter included in the report.

The House Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on the report on Friday, May 17. Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he is directing the FBI to investigate whether IRS officials broke any laws by targeting the conservative groups.

The full audit:

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Highlights:

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9 comments
arrestforcefeeders
arrestforcefeeders

immediatly fire: irs workers who: against the rules of the irs, discriminated agianst people based on their political status and asked unnessicary questions in applications, witnessed misconduct and dispite being able to didnt report or fire misconductors, ordered/directed irs-workers to commit misconduct. charge misconductors a refund of wages from date of misconduct to date of fire. charge irs workers who agianst the rules of the irs, exsessivly delyed tax-exempt status, to refund all taxes paid that were sapose to be exempt.

make irs workers sign contracts that they will follow the rules and if they dont they will be fired and owe refund of wages and owe other appropriate refunds and charges.

its illegal for irs to collect taxes that are sapose to be exempt

put irs and gov under 24-7live public video survailence, unless gov has good reason for certian info to be kept secret, not all conduct needs to be secret and should be supervised by public. permit people un-paid by gov to do suprize inspections on the irs.

reallife
reallife

“We believe the front-line career employees that made the decisions acted out of a desire for efficiency and not out of any political or partisan viewpoint,”


hahahahahaha  good one!

LOL


retiredvet
retiredvet

Organizations with "political sounding names" singled out for tax exempt review by the IRS. Just shocking!

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

With great power, comes great responsibility............

.......Luke 12:48..........

......... From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked..

fitty_three
fitty_three

@retiredvet

I'm thinking they would love that.  Fits right in there with the motivations behind Citizens United.

notsacredh
notsacredh

Sacredh..... 5:15.....

Sh!t happens.