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Thread: IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups

  1. #1
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    IRS apologizes for targeting conservative groups

    Nice that they apologized. That makes it all better.

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/irs-a...rvative-groups

    WASHINGTON (AP) The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.


    Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.


    In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.


    "That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

    "The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added.



    Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice. She did not say when they found out.


    About 75 groups were inappropriately targeted. None had their tax-exempt status revoked, Lerner said.


    Many conservative groups complained during the election that they were being harassed by the IRS. They accused the agency of frustrating their attempts to become tax exempt by sending them lengthy, intrusive questionnaires.


    The forms, which the groups made available at the time, sought information about group members' political activities, including details of their postings on social networking websites and about family members.


    Certain tax-exempt charitable groups can conduct political activities but it cannot be their primary activity.


    IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told Congress in March 2012 that the IRS was not targeting groups based on their political views.


    "There's absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people" who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman told a House Ways and Means subcommittee.


    Shulman was appointed by President George W. Bush. His 6-year term ended in November. President Barack Obama has yet to nominate a successor. The agency is now being run by acting Commissioner Steven Miller.


    "I don't think there's any question we were unfairly targeted," said Tom Zawistowski, who until recently was president of the Ohio Liberty Coalition, an alliance of tea party groups in the state.


    Zawistowski's group was among many conservative organizations that battled the IRS over what they saw as its discriminatory treatment of their effort to gain non-profit status. The group first applied for non-profit status in June 2009, and it was finally granted on Dec. 7, 2012, he said one month after Election Day.


    During the 2012 election, many tea party groups applied for tax-exempt status under section 501 (c) (4) of the federal tax code, which grants tax-exempt status to social welfare groups. Unlike other charitable groups, these organizations are allowed to participate in political activities but their primary activity must be social welfare.


    That determination is up to the IRS.


    Lerner said the number of groups filing for this tax-exempt status more than doubled from 2010 to 2012, to more than 3,400. To handle the influx, the IRS centralized its review of these applications in an office in Cincinnati.
    Lerner said this was done to develop expertise among staffers and consistency in their reviews. As part of the review, staffers look for signs that groups are participating in political activity. If so, IRS agents take a closer look to make sure that politics isn't the group's primary activity, Lerner said.


    As part of this process, agents in Cincinnati came up with a list of things to look for in an application. As part of the list, they included the words, "tea party" and "patriot," Lerner said.

    "It's the line people that did it without talking to managers," Lerner.

    "They're IRS workers, they're revenue agents."


    In all, about 300 groups were singled out for additional review, Lerner said. Of those, about a quarter were singled out because they had "tea party" or "patriot" somewhere in their applications.


    Lerner said 150 of the cases have been closed and no group had its tax-exempt status revoked, though some withdrew their applications.


    Tea Party groups weren't buying the idea that the decision to target them was solely the responsibility of low-level IRS workers.


    "It is suspicious that the activity of these 'low-level workers' was unknown to IRS leadership at the time it occurred," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, which describes itself as the nation's largest tea party organization. "President Obama must also apologize for his administration ignoring repeated complaints by these broad grassroots organizations of harassment by the IRS in 2012, and make concrete and transparent steps today to ensure this never happens again."
    ___
    Associated Press reporters Alan Fram and Steve Peoples in Boston contributed to this report.

  2. #2
    This is CLASSIC Chicago politics.
    Obama acting like the thug that he is.
    Community organizer means strong arm coercion and extortion.

  3. #3
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    We need Dennis Rodman running the IRS.

  4. #4
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    This is effing bizarre. And I love how they are saying this isn't political, the IRS is a separate entity with only 2 political appointees, yadda yadda. Such BS.

  5. #5
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    More gas on the fire. I was going to say how unbelievable this is. But then I realized, it really isn't.

  6. #6
    Between this and the growing Benghazi issue I'd say the second Obama Presidential term is now being defined.

    When your White House is proven to be a nest of liars, you're cooked.


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by AlbanyJet View Post
    Between this and the growing Benghazi issue I'd say the second Obama Presidential term is now being defined.

    When your White House is proven to be a nest of liars, you're cooked.

    Seems to be the trend and both parties keep on doing it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Seems to be the trend and both parties keep on doing it.
    Getting tired of this. The Obama administration was raked over the coals yesterday and your comment is "both parties are doing it."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    Getting tired of this. The Obama administration was raked over the coals yesterday and your comment is "both parties are doing it."
    Extremely tiresome.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    Getting tired of this. The Obama administration was raked over the coals yesterday and your comment is "both parties are doing it."
    You want to argue this is a unique situation compared to any of the past WH admins?

  11. #11
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    Obama is such a fargin dud. But he is a lucky one. Sandy helped with the election and now the kidnapping with the Bengazi revelations and this IRS scandal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    You want to argue this is a unique situation compared to any of the past WH admins?
    That's the standard we hold Obama to now? He went from "hope and change" and "most transparent President ever" to "marginally worse than everyone else."

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    That's the standard we hold Obama to now? He went from "hope and change" and "most transparent President ever" to "marginally worse than everyone else."
    Please find one post where I have ever said anything remotely close to that about Obama. I never thought he would be the savior.

    I don't think he's marginally worse than everyone else either. He's just ok, but he still kicked the sh1t out of the jokes the GOP put up against him.

    I never bashed a sitting President and I never will, I respect the office and have acknowledged that we will never have a great President in my lifetime. No truly great person would subject themselves to this constant bullsh1t.

  14. #14
    this could bring down the Obama administration.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    this could bring down the Obama administration.
    Bring it down?

    Is it still up?

  16. #16
    So in the end none of the groups were denied tax free status?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Obama is such a fargin dud. But he is a lucky one. Sandy helped with the election and now the kidnapping with the Bengazi revelations and this IRS scandal.
    And lets be honest, he definitely could have had something to do with the kidnapping. AMIRITE?

  18. #18
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    So the IRS apologizes after the election and right before its own Inspector General is due to release a report about it?

    How convenient. **** you Lerner. You should be fired along with your underling, KGB-wannabe pieces of ****.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    So in the end none of the groups were denied tax free status?
    this is either the stupidest post ever or the most partisan piece of cutting and pasting crap.

    maybe its both.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    So in the end none of the groups were denied tax free status?
    You own a small biz right? Go through an IRS audit, even with a NO CHANGE, it is like a colonospocy.

    the records, bank statements, all the work.

    They may as well just steal money from them while they are at it. I imagine 100's of hours of response time went into these inquiries as well as tremendous legal expense. I imagine a lawsuit is in order.

    This is basically tantamount to old USSR treatment of citizens voicing opposition to the Kremlin.

    There is NO PLACE for this in society.

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