Leaders of progressive groups say they, too, faced long delays in getting the Internal Revenue Service to approve their applications for tax-exempt status but were not subjected to the same level of scrutiny that tea party groups complained about. Several progressive groups said it took more than a year for the IRS to approve their status while others are still waiting as IRS agents press for details about their activities. The delays have made it difficult for the groups to raise money — just as it has for tea party groups that were singled out for extra scrutiny. But even with the delays, leaders of some progressive groups said they didn’t feel like they were being targeted. “This is kind of what you expect. You expect it to take a year or more to get your status because that’s just what the IRS goes through to do it,” said Maryann Martindale, executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah, a small non-profit that advocates for progressive causes. “So I don’t know that we feel particularly targeted.”
National: Official at Heart of IRS Tea Party Scandal Spiked Audits of Big Dark-Money Donors | Mother Jones
You’d have to search long and hard to find a member of Congress not outraged that politics and partisanship crept into the work of the IRS, leading to the wrongful targeting of tea partiers and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. “The American people have a right to expect that the IRS will exercise its authority in a neutral, non-biased way,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said on Tuesday. “Sadly, there appears to have been more than a hint of political bias” by the IRS staffers vetting nonprofit applications. Hatch’s Republican colleagues in the House and Senate could hardly contain their anger. “Do either of you feel any responsibility or remorse for treating the American people this way?” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the former IRS chiefs Douglas Shulman and Steven Miller on Tuesday. Yet lawmakers have no qualms with using politics to bend the IRS to its will. In 2011, under pressure from House and Senate Republicans, Miller, then the IRS’ deputy commissioner, spiked audits investigating whether five big donors to 501(c)(4) groups—the type of nonprofit that can get involved in campaigns and elections but can’t make politics its “primary activity”—avoided paying taxes on their donations. Miller’s decision erased any worry that wealthy donors might have had about giving millions to nonprofits during the 2012 campaign season.
National: Conservative group True the Vote sues IRS over being subject to heightened scrutiny | The Wahsington Post
True the Vote, a Houston-based voter watchdog group that arose from a tea party organization, filed suit in federal court Tuesday against the Internal Revenue Service over the agency’s processing of its request for tax-exempt status. The lawsuit, filed by the conservative ActRight Legal Foundation, asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to grant its request for tax-exempt status and award damages for what it described as unlawful conduct by the IRS. True the Vote, which was founded in June 2010, is affiliated with the King Street Patriots, a tea party group which started in December 2009. Originally called KSP/True the Vote, the group filed in July 2010 for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) charity organization. In August 2011, the group changed its name to True the Vote Inc.; King Street Patriots has separately been seeking the 501(c)(4) status from the IRS. True the Vote has come under fire for intimidating African-American and other minority voters at the polls.
Steven Miller, who is being forced out as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, told House lawmakers today that the IRS has learned from its mistakes while denying that it had targeted nonprofit groups for review because of their political views. Under persistent questioning from House Republicans at the first hearing on the agency’s scrutiny of small-government groups that applied for tax-exempt status, Miller insisted that IRS employees didn’t have partisan motivations. “What happened here is that foolish mistakes were made by people trying to be more efficient,” Miller said at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing that lasted almost four hours.