What is known so far about the Internal Revenue Service’s examination of political nonprofit groups doesn’t answer one main question — whether the U.S. tax agency’s actions were malicious or just inept. IRS employees, trying to figure out how to sort through a surge in applications for nonprofit status, used shortcut phrases such as “Tea Party” and “patriot” to flag groups for scrutiny, according to an inspector general’s timeline. After IRS officials raised concerns in June 2011, there’s no evidence that the agency started over with a new system. That scrutiny was elevated to a scandal on May 10, when Lois Lerner, the director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division, acknowledged in remarks to a conference of tax lawyers that applications using those phrases had been singled out for extra examination. The filtering done by IRS employees in Cincinnati now imperils the agency’s ability to enforce the laws on politically active nonprofit groups.Full Article: How IRS Review of U.S. Nonprofits Erupted Into Scandal - Bloomberg.
May 15 2013