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Thursday, June 27, 2013

IRS Auditor: 100% Of Tea Party, Patriot, 9/12 Groups Targeted, 30% Of Progressive Groups Were 'Touch and Go'

By Susan Duclos

Contrary to recent reports, the IRS did not target progressive groups as they did conservative groups and in fact listed 30% of  progressive groups as what they referred to as "TAG" (Touch and Go) Historical, and they did not receive the inappropriate scrutiny and delays of their tax exempt applications that 100% Tea Party, Patriot and 9/12 groups received.

The Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA), J. Russell George, sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday in response to questions Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, top Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, sent to him on two occasions in June.

The IG made it clear his investigation "did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled “Progressives,” were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 time frame we audited."

(Full 5-page letter from Mr. George will be embedded below the post)

From page #2 of the IG letter to Congress:

• Please describe in detail why your report dated May 14, 2013 omitted the fact that"Progressives" was used.

Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the "Progressives" identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012. The focus of our audit was on whether the IRS: 1) targeted specific groups applying for tax-exempt status, 2) delayed processing of targeted groups' applications, and 3) requested unnecessary information from targeted groups. We determined the IRS developed and used inappropriate criteria to identify applications from organizations with the words Tea Party in their names. In addition, we found other inappropriate criteria that were used (e.g., 9/12, Patriots) to select potential political cases that were not included in any BOLO listings. The inappropriate criteria used to select potential political cases for review did not include the term "Progressives."The term "Progressives" appears, beginning in August 2010, in a separate section of the BOLO listings that was labeled "TAG [Touch and Go] Historical" or "Potential Abusive Historical." The Touch and Go group within the Exempt Organizations function Determinations Unit is a different group of specialists than the team ofspecialists that was processing potential political cases related to the allegations we audited.

From page #4:

• In the course of your audit, what did you discover about the processing of cases with the "Progressives" identifier? Were the cases processed in the same manner as the cases with the "Tea Party" and associated terms identifiers? Or were they processed differently?

TIGTA's audit did not review how TAG Historical cases (including the "Progressives"identifier) were processed because we did not find evidence that the IRS used the TAG Historical section of the BOLO listings as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012.

Via Washington Times:

He said that while 30 percent of groups that had the word “progressive” in their name were given extra scrutiny, 100 percent of groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their names were pulled out for strict scrutiny, which involved what the IRS since has said were invasive and inappropriate questions.

Democrats have argued that the IRS‘ scrutiny of applications for tax-exempt status hit both ideological sides equally, which would cut at the GOP’s argument that it was politically motivated. Instead, Democrats have said the scrutiny is the natural result of a jump in applications after campaign finance rules changed following the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case.

But Mr. George’s letter suggests that’s not the case.

“While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of tea party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails, and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention,” Mr. George wrote.

As I pointed out the other day: Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel, told House Financial Services and General Government subcommittee chairman Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), that his "primary mission" is to restore public trust in the IRS.

Throwing the information about the BOLOs out without acknowledging how differently the IRS was instructed to treat one group over another, shows clearly that Werfel's "primary mission" prevents him from being an objective investigator into the wrongdoings of the IRS.

There should be a special prosecutor assigned to this investigation, one who is completely non-partisan and who has the "primary mission" of getting to to the truth, because Werfel was handed an objective which, in and of itself, is a conflict of interest.

 Werfel threw the media a misleading red herring, in order to fulfill what he has admitted was his primary mission and the Inspector General's letter to Congress, shown below,  confirms exactly how misleading Werfel's partial information was intended to be.

Read the entire letter to Congress from Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA), J. Russell George.

Full Wake up America coverage on the IRS scandal can be found here.