The investigation into allegations that the IRS illegally targeted conservative political groups subpoenaed e-mails from key officials. Now the IRS is saying those e-mails are gone. And that the back-up tapes have been erased. And that the key hard-drive has unaccountably been destroyed. Also the main IRS official involved has plead the 5th and has been held in contempt. But surely nothing inappropriate was going on. [Read more…]
Lois Lerner, the IRS officer who first disclosed that the agency had been targeting conservative organizations, invoked the 5th Amendment’–“I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself”–in refusing to say anything at a Congressional investigation. [Read more…]
It wasn’t just Tea Party groups that the IRS harassed, delayed, and audited. Some religious groups were too, including some that already had the non-profit exemption. See the list after the jump. [Read more…]
More increasingly alarming details are coming out about the IRS scandal. See this, for the kind of intrusive information the IRS demanded. See also this and this for how liberal organizations applying for the same status were routinely and quickly approved, no questions asked. And how as many as 500 conservative organizations were targeted. We are also learning that the IRS was harassing pro-life groups as far back in 2009! Not just making them fill out lots of forms and delaying approval for two years and more. But forbidding pro-life leaders from sidewalk counseling and from protesting in front of Planned Parenthood abortuaries! [Read more…]
More malfeasance by the IRS. The progressive journalism site ProPublica admits that the IRS sent them confidential material from conservative groups. ProPublica had requested information about organizations whose tax exempt status was approved, but the IRS, in addition, sent them copies of applications whose approval was pending, in direct violation of the law.
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.
The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:
The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year… In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)
The group says that “no unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.”
For the ProPublica account (and give them credit for coming clean), go here.
More information is coming out about how the IRS harassed groups critical of the government. Allegations are coming out that the agency audits businesses whose owners have questioned government actions and that it has leaked confidential tax records. Also, the Washington Post is reporting that the initiative to target conservative organizations came not from rogue agents in Cincinnati, as the IRS has claimed, but from a task force in Washington.
What the IRS did to the conservative organizations, going back to 2010, is in their handling of their tax exempt applications as non-profit organizations. They inundated the groups with paperwork, including the request for detailed information about donors and even volunteers. In addition, the agency would take up to 2 years to process the application! This effectively kept the new groups from functioning. After the jump, an organization’s spokesman tells what his group went through. [Read more…]