TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1020

IRS Logo 2Albuquerque Journal editorial, IRS Forces Local Tea Party to Continue Limbo Dance:

It is an abuse-of-power dance nobody wants to get asked to. But in 2009 the Internal Revenue Service held out a bamboo pole and forced the Albuquerque Tea Party to limbo. Over the next six years that pole has continued dropping, forcing the group to limbo lower now as it continues to do without the tax-free money 501(c)(4) status conveys.

Meanwhile, when the supposedly nonpartisan IRS operates as it should, an application for tax-exempt status usually takes three to six months.

Sure, there are questions about the tea party’s qualifications as a “social welfare” organization that by law is required to spend less than half its time and money on political activity. Those same questions should be applied to its counterparts on the left that couch electioneering as “education” – yet they have not. The IRS has admitted it did not give the same scrutiny to groups with a liberal or progressive bent that it has given to groups with “tea party” or similar terms in their applications.

And of course, this is the same IRS that “lost” thousands of emails by Lois Lerner, the ex-division chief in the Obama Administration who oversaw tax-exempt applications. And Lerner, a feckless bureaucratic weasel, has repeatedly pleaded the Fifth when called before Congress.

So rather than deliver a ruling after the Albuquerque Tea Party applied in 2009, the IRS has instead requested additional documents, fought lawsuits by it and other targeted groups, refused to explain itself to members of Congress, including New Mexico Republican Steve Pearce, and declined to comment even on the status of the application. In other words, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Six years after seeking tax-exempt status the Albuquerque Tea Party remains in limbo. Neither able to move forward after approval nor appeal a negative decision. Had an audited taxpayer kept the IRS waiting that long, he or she would have been hounded, assessed interest, even locked up.

Yet the IRS forces the Albuquerque Tea Party to dance to its tune year after year without accountability to anyone for its own inaction.

The Obama administration has allowed the IRS to play its partisan music for years. The next administration must put away the limbo poles and return the agency to its mission, which in part says the IRS will “enforce the law with integrity and fairness to all.”

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/02/the-irs-scandal-day-1020.html

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Comments

Whoever wishes to be the next President must announce NOW that he will (and I say "he" since Hillary won't) prosecute the den of thieves in ALL the federal agencies that have allowed this President to weaponize their Departments to punish critics and political rivals. Maybe the agencies will start to act in more self-preserving and coincidentally legal manner.

Posted by: Spamf Roming | Feb 23, 2016 8:34:15 AM