A number of prominent Republican leaders continue to criticize the Internal Revenue Service for an alleged bias against conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, with some arguing the tax agency intentionally colluded with the Obama administration in order to suppress the Tea Party movement and other political opponents.
Lawmakers became aware of the issue following an inspector general’s audit reportedly showing that the IRS placed conservative groups vying for tax-exempt status under particular scrutiny, subjecting them to intense questioning and forcing them to wait more than four months for responses to their applications. The IRS principal deputy commissioner initially addressed the issue in a report, claiming that the IRS targeted both liberal and conservative groups and that no evidence existed to suggest that the tax agency’s actions were politically motivated.
However, the deputy commissioner partially recanted some of his claims at a congressional hearing several days later, admitting that investigators have thus far failed to find proof that liberal groups were targeted in the same way as their conservative counterparts. This prompted a number of conservative legislators to harshly chastise the deputy commissioner’s response to the scandal, with the Republican head of the House Ways and Means Committee accusing the commissioner of failing the American people. A representative from Texas blasted the commissioner’s initial report as “a sham.”
While Democrats have not publicly defended the IRS, many have criticized allegations that the Obama administration ordered or was otherwise involved in the targeting as “flagrant” and “without factual foundation.” One prominent Democratic representative asked the deputy commissioner if the audit had uncovered any Presidential involvement in the probe, to which the commissioner said there was not.
While this case primarily involves political organizations, the IRS can also exercise a number of dramatic powers in dealing with individual taxpayers. Texas residents who have been targeted with penalties and interest or levies on their wages and bank accounts should contact an experienced tax law attorney to learn more about defending themselves in court.
KiiiTV, “Republicans Grill Acting IRS Chief Over Targeting Probe” No Author Given, Jun. 27, 2013