IRS Targeting of Conservatives Began in 2010


Inappropriate criteria were used by the Internal Revenue Service to identify tax-exempt applications for reviews concluded the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration audit that was released May 14th. The audit was initiated based on concerns by Congress.

The Inspector General’s review, ‘was performed at the EO (Exempt Organizations) function Headquarters office in Washington, D.C., and the Determinations Unit in Cincinnati, Ohio.’  The IRS has acknowledged only the involvement of its Exempt Organizations office in Cincinnati, Ohio.

One-third of the applications processed by the IRS team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots or 9/12 , ALL cases with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 were sent to the team of specialist for review.

  • The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions 
  • ALL cases with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 were sent to the team of specialist for review.
  • Potential political cases experienced significant processing delays (up to 13 months).
  • Potential political cases experienced long processing delays (more than 20 months).
  • Potential political cases were open much longer than similar cases.
  • IRS requested  unnecessary information for many potential political cases.
  •  Many organizations received request for additional information that included unnecessary burdensome questions (list of past and future donors, relationships with candidates or public officials). The IRS later informed some organizations that they did not need to provide the information that was previously requested
  • Top IRS career officials withheld information from Congress for months regarding targeting of conservative organizations for extra scrutiny.

Criteria for selecting applications inappropriately identified organizations based n their names and policy positions.

The IRS Determination Unit in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2010 used identified applications from organizations with the words Tea Party in their names.  It then used criteria that identified groups applying for tax exempt status based on their names or policy positions instead of a criteria based on tax-exempt laws and Treasury regulations. It  developed in June 2010 a spreadsheet knows as “Be On The Look Out’ list.

Criteria for Potential Political Cases (June 2011)

  • “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” “9/12 Project”
  • Issues include government spending, government debt or taxes
  • Education of the public by advocacy/lobbing to “make America a better place to live”
  • Statement in the case file critizing how the country is being run

In June 2010 the Director, EO was briefed on the expanded criteria and directed that it be changed to focus on “political, lobbying, advocacy” activities of organizations, an improvement over using a organizations name or policy positions.

Disgusting & Disturbing!  The IRS offices in California and Washington, D.C., need to be looked at closer too.  This abuse  went way over the top.  With multiple IRS offices involved in different states, it is not possible for this to be anything but institutionalized political persecution.

Flat tax?  Federal Sales Tax?

Online:  Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Report (pdf)

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