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. icon
    Jay (profile), 13 May 2013 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: It seems

    it's a legitimate interest of the IRS to determine if groups are strategically misusing their newly-gotten tax-exempt status, and actively promoting complete and obvious misrepresentations of US law?

    While there's outrage on this, the actions of a lot of Tea Party groups have been questionable since 2007 for quite some time.

    elected governments can be expected to prosecute groups who openly advocate overthrowing them and/or widespread violations of law!

    Heh, if the government represented the p

    Citizens must be free to break and twist every law and principle on which a country depends without threat of arrest, prosecution, trial, or punishment. Otherwise, we have no freedom.

    Wrong. Citizens decide on laws and who represents them in government. If you want a democratic republic, you have to fight for it. Best option is to go out and form up with others to explain the need for a better government through better representation and more political parties.

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