More Details Show IRS Targeted Groups Critical Of How The Government Was Run

from the ouch dept

Late on Friday (the time when people try to break bad news to avoid a big news cycle) the IRS admitted that the office that scrutinizes non-profit/tax exempt status of organizations had acted politically in targeting groups that had "tea party" or "patriot" in their names. Over the weekend, more details have been revealed showing that they further targeted groups that criticized how the government is being run including so-called "social welfare" groups. In other words: if you want to improve our government, the IRS might target you for a burdensome audit. As someone who regularly criticizes our government because I want it to act better, this is absolutely horrifying. I know that this issue has already descended for some into a "left" vs. "right" political battle, but this is an issue that everyone should be aghast about. While the full report hasn't been released yet (and, in fact, there are already accusations that the IRS has leaked parts to try to contain the fallout), some of the details are astounding:
The documents, obtained by The Washington Post from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that the IRS field office in charge of evaluating applications for tax-exempt status decided to focus on groups making statements that “criticize how the country is being run” and those that were involved in educating Americans “on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
Educating people about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights gets extra scrutiny by the IRS? Isn't that the kind of thing that we should be encouraging?

Are there groups that abuse the non-profit status? Probably. But targeting them based on their viewpoints goes way beyond what's allowed or should be seen as even remotely reasonable. As some have pointed out, politicizing the IRS was part of the impeachment articles against Nixon.

Is it so much to ask for a government that actually respects the Constitution? Or does simply asking for that make you a target?

Filed Under: advocacy, constitution, irs, non-profit, patriots, political targeting, tax exempt, tea party


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  1. identicon
    Mr. Applegate, 14 May 2013 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: This does not matter to me...

    Is it illegal for even the president to ask for a group to be investigated for a crime and reporting them to the IRS due to suspicions they are committing fraud?
    For the most part the answer to that question is yes, it is wrong. The only way it is even remotely plausible is if the president had first hand knowledge of wrong doing. If the President is just saying "Hey, target these right wing non-profits", then that is a huge problem. It is an abuse of power.

    Sure both parties do it. Yes it has been going on for ever. That doesn't make it right. It is a sad statement for our country and our government when our leaders stoop to such levels. It shows our government is little better than certain other governments around the world where people live in fear of voicing opposition to the leadership of their country.

    It would be one thing for you or me to alert the IRS to investigate an organization (or individual). it is quite another for a person in power to do it.

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