TaxProf Blog

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1028

IRS Logo 2Law 360, IRS Pays GOP $20K In Dismissal Of Tax-Exempt Docs Suit:

The Internal Revenue Service and the Republican National Committee have agreed to dismiss a suit over a request for documents on the agency’s treatment of social welfare groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, and the IRS will pay the committee more than $20,000 in attorneys' fees.

The agreement was documented in a Tuesday filing in the District of Columbia federal court, where the RNC launched a lawsuit in 2014 alleging the agency had not complied with a Freedom of Information Act request sent to the agency that year.

The suit sought a declaratory judgment that the IRS' failure to disclose records requested by the RNC violated FOIA and an injunction that would have required the agency to turn over the requested documents. The RNC asked the agency for records relating to its criteria for assessing 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations and any agency correspondence from Jan. 1, 2010, through May 20, 2013, containing the words “tea party,” “patriot” and “9/12 project.” ...

Animosity over the IRS' handling of 501(c)(4) organizations stems from a 2013 government report that found the agency used inappropriate selection criteria for subjecting social welfare groups’ applications for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny. It was revealed that IRS employees maintained a “be on the lookout” list and the tax-exempt status applications of groups with names that included words such as "tea party" or "patriot" were subjected to heightened scrutiny between 2010 and 2012.

The report led to the resignation of then-IRS acting head Steven Miller and prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. Former IRS exempt organizations official Lois Lerner also left the agency shortly after the report was released.

A bipartisan report on the controversy released by the Senate Finance Committee last year revealed "gross mismanagement" at the agency's highest levels, though it did not conclude whether the targeting of certain social welfare groups was politically motivated.

Beginning in 2010, Lerner's Exempt Organizations Division undertook no less than seven poorly planned and badly executed initiatives aimed at bringing the growing number of applications from Tea Party and other groups to decision, the report said. Those initiatives ultimately failed, resulting in months and years of unnecessary delays in processing the groups' applications, the committee found.

Few, if any, of the managers in the Exempt Organizations Division were concerned about the delays resulting from the alleged mismanagement, even though they possibly harmed the organizations' ability to function, according to the report. ...

The case is Republican National Committee v. Internal Revenues Service, case number 1:14-cv-00612,  in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Comments

This is why the base is upset with the GOP establishment.

Posted by: Wodun | Mar 2, 2016 6:50:45 AM

The Republican party doesn't seem to mind when the Democrats weaponize the IRS against conservatives and libertarians, do they?

Posted by: Teapartydoc | Mar 2, 2016 12:51:16 PM