Documents to be released this week indicate that the Internal Revenue Service is targeting tea party groups as well as others which include various statements that they “criticize how the country is run” or educate about how to “make America a better place to live.” These statements are sometimes included in the filings of conservative political groups which are filing for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(4).
Tea Party Group May Demand IRS Repayment
CNN obtained an inspector general’s report that’s expected to be made public this week, and these disclosures are said to be included in the report’s appendix. Fox News reports that one of the leading tea party groups in the nation that was apparently affected by the increased scrutiny from the IRS may want to be reimbursed by the agency.
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A spokesperson for Tea Party Patriots said her group was “hassled by the IRS” during the application process for their tax exemption. Jenny Beth Martin said the agency wanted to see all of its Facebook posts and all of the comments that any of the group’s Facebook fans ever said.
According to Martin, responding to the numerous inquiries cost time and money, and they are trying to determine the best way to be reimbursed. She said they may demand that the IRS pay them back and that they are helping other organizations which faced similar intense scrutiny from the agency.
Lawmakers Target The IRS Too
Republican lawmakers also blasted the tax agency over the weekend, saying that it breached public trust by targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. A spokesperson for President Obama said he believed that “the conduct of a small number” of IRS employees “may have fallen short” of his high standards and expectations for public servants.
Lawmakers are calling for President Obama to make clear that this type of behavior is not allowed. Some are calling for a congressional investigation to look into “who knew what and when.” The report obtained by CNN was the result of an audit that was requested by the House Committee on Oversight. The audit is different than an investigation, which would focus more on wrongdoing and violations.