GAO: IRS Political Targeting Is Indeed Possible In The Audit Process For Nonprofits

GAO: IRS Political Targeting Is Indeed Possible In The Audit Process For Nonprofits

FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Elizabeth MacDonald reports that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) “now says that the [Internal Revenue Service] IRS political targeting is indeed possible in the audit process for nonprofits, largely due to poor agency oversight and controls.”

See full article here.

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On the House Oversight subcommittee hearing today:

“A House Oversight subcommittee hearing today will provide more pushback to President Barack Obama’s claim to the Daily Show that there was no IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits. The hearing, which will take testimony from IRS commissioner John Koskinen, will zoom in on a new report from the Government Accountability Office that will deliver this bombshell: The GAO now says that IRS political ‘targeting is indeed possible in the audit process’ for nonprofits, largely due to poor agency oversight and controls. Unfortunately, the IRS has not taken sufficient steps to prevent targeting Americans based on their personal beliefs,’ the GAO says.”

On the IRS selecting specific organizations for examinations:

“Specifically, The GAO found that ‘control deficiencies’ do ‘increase the risk’ that the IRS nonprofit unit ‘could select organizations for examinations in an unfair manner—for example, based on an organization’s religious, educational, political or other views.’”

On the Judicial Watch’s findings from the Freedom of Information Act Filings:

“Judicial Watch, a watchdog group, says it has obtained Freedom of Information Act filings that show IRS workers were using donor lists from conservative nonprofit groups to target people for audit. It also says documents detail a October 2010 meeting between former IRS official Lois Lerner, Justice Department officials and the FBI to plan ‘for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity,’ and that the IRS transferred confidential tax returns from 113,000 nonprofit social welfare groups to the FBI ‘as part of its prosecution effort.’ The documents also show ‘the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress.’”

On the new GAO report on the the IRS’s audits of nonprofits in fiscal 2014:

“The GAO report also found that a quarter of the IRS nonprofit audit case files it reviewed had no description of any allegation that triggered the audit to begin with. The IRS doesn’t sufficiently document why it even started nonprofit audits in the first place, the watchdog group says. All of these ‘weaknesses undermine the integrity of tax administration,’ the GAO warns. The new GAO report found that nearly one out of five, or 18%, of the IRS’s audits of nonprofits in fiscal 2014 came from “referrals,” meaning, complaints the IRS gets from third parties to look into nonprofits, including from members of Congress, the general public, or even IRS officials.”

On the IRS conducting secret surveillance on a nonprofit:

“‘The GAO also says that the IRS will secretly conduct surveillance, or monitor, a nonprofit “without making any taxpayer contact” in order to “build a case for an audit.’ That includes poring through a nonprofit’s blogs and websites ‘without notifying the groups they are under review,’ the GAO says.”


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