TaxProf Blog

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

Friday, October 27, 2017

The IRS Scandal, Day 1632: Department Of Justice Settles Tea Party Targeting Cases For Millions And An Apology

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal, Administration Agrees to Settle Tea-Party Suits Against IRS:

The Trump administration on Thursday said it has agreed to pay between $1 million and $10 million to settle lawsuits against the Internal Revenue Service for targeting tea-party groups in the Obama era, saying in court documents that the IRS “admits that its treatment...was wrong.”

The Justice Department entered into proposed settlements with groups that alleged in 2013 they had been subject to discriminatory treatment in applying for tax-exempt status. The move largely puts an end to a saga that had engulfed the IRS for years.

In a settlement filed in federal court in Washington, which still must be approved by a judge, the Justice Department said the IRS “expresses its sincere apology” and was “fully committed” to not subjecting groups for additional review “solely on the name or policy positions of such entity.”

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/10/the-irs-scandal-day-1632-em-the-irs-settles-tea-party-targeting-cases-for-millions-and-an-apology.html

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Comments

Seems like this was done just before the IRS was required to turn over the names of the people who performed the examinations.

Posted by: Chris | Oct 27, 2017 3:18:12 AM

Why is the Trump administration allowing only a pittance of a fine and a weak admittance of illegal wrong doing by the Obama era IRS department?

Enormous taxpayer money was spent investigating, what is now proven true, allegations of illegal targeting of Tea-party groups.

IRS executives lied before Congress. They hide and destroyed incriminating emails. They evaded responsibility every chance they could.

The Tea party groups Constitutional 1st Amendment was trampled upon. The American People were lied to.

I am disgusted by this hollow, weak admittance of IRS wrong going.

The American People deserve better.

Posted by: James Dion | Oct 27, 2017 8:02:07 AM

The payments and apology look reasonable. But what these folks were cheated of -- their right to organize at that time -- can't really be repaid now, because those elections have already happened. The perps had to have understood this fact. The matter can't be considered closed until the perps are identified and disciplined.

Posted by: TheOtherCasper | Oct 27, 2017 10:51:22 AM

Thanks, Paul, for the yeoman-like work you've done on this issue.

Posted by: Reformed Trombonist | Oct 27, 2017 10:53:41 AM

Why are the taxpayers paying this settlement and not the individuals who did this? It should come out of their wages for working in the laundry at Federal prison.

Posted by: Denis C. Monahan | Oct 27, 2017 11:14:56 AM

To state the obvious, the money should have come out of the pockets of IRS officials. This sticks tax-payers with their malice.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Oct 27, 2017 11:15:44 AM

Seems like a very mild ruler slap on the fingers by the black robes, when the remedy calls for a top to bottom purge of an agency gone rogue ....

Posted by: Rusty | Oct 27, 2017 11:25:16 AM

Has any IRS employee been held responsible and been punished for these crimes?

Posted by: James Michael | Oct 27, 2017 12:33:23 PM

Big Day! And kudos to you Dean Caron for staying on the case this whole time! A true public service.

Posted by: OC Domer | Oct 27, 2017 12:55:16 PM

Congrats, and thanks, Paul, for diligently following that abuse of power for so long.

Posted by: John Steele | Oct 27, 2017 12:57:59 PM

Professor Caron - the IRS owes you an apology too.

Posted by: Chuck Ritter | Oct 27, 2017 6:32:39 PM

"Has any IRS employee been held responsible and been punished for these crimes?"

None have, to anyone's knowledge, and neither at the Obama DOJ who started this ball rolling in 2010.

False statements to Congress and destruction of subpoened documents, intentionally by the way, have brought zero civil OR criminal charges against anyone. And forget 1st Amendment violations, the upper echelons of the IRS and DOJ are full of career lawyers, who know how to break the law and avoid punishment.

But here's the cherry on top of this big chocolate mess, at least in the court of public opinion:

The highest-ranking individual at the IRS directly responsible for viewpoint discrimination against primarily conservative groups, Lois Lerner, right before she plead the 5th, uttered these now infamous words:

"I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws, I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee." - May 21, 2013

Now, in hindsight there's at least one falsity amongst those statements, and there's a statute on the books whereby Congress could've jailed her on the spot for refusing to answer any questions and stonewalling the oversight investigation.

But would anyone like to try and convince me, by squaring her first statement with today's settlements?

The government doesn't pay plaintiffs money to go away if it did absolutely nothing wrong.

Anybody?

But

Posted by: MM | Oct 27, 2017 6:59:38 PM