Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The IRS Tea Party Scandal, Explained

It's Washington's new outrage. What exactly happened and who is responsible?


On Friday, May 10, a top official with the Internal Revenue Service dropped a bombshell. IRS staffers had singled out conservative organizations with "tea party" or "patriots" in their name that were seeking tax-exempt nonprofit status, subjecting them to extra scrutiny to see if they were abusing the tax law as it relates to political activity. They grilled these conservative groups about their members, their donors, their public statements, and who they employed. And there is no evidence yet that the IRS systemically treated non-conservative groups with the same level of attention.

Speaking to a group of tax lawyers, the IRS official, Lois Lerner, who oversees the agency's exempt organizations division, publicly apologized for the IRS's actions. Ever since, Democratic and Republican politicians have been falling over themselves to condemn the IRS. President Obama said that, if the allegations are true, "there's no place" for such behavior. Members of Congress have pledged to investigate any potential wrongdoing and grill the agency's leaders. "Heads need to roll" if the IRS unfairly targeted tea partiers and other conservatives, said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

For the rest of the story: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/irs-tea-party-scandal-congress-nonprofit-obama

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