Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The IRS Scandal, Day 226

IRS Logo, Whoppers of 2013:  We Highlight the Real Doozies Among the Falsehoods of the Year:

A Whooper From the IRS.
A political firestorm erupted this year over IRS employees’ extra scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’ exempt organizations division, wrongly told reporters on May 10 that she first learned of employees targeting these groups in 2012 from media reports on conservative organizations that complained about delays. But a Treasury inspector general’s report released four days later showed she knew about the flagging of conservative groups nearly a year earlier, and that she tried to correct it.

Lerner, the IG report said, was briefed in late June 2011 about employees singling out groups applying for 501(c)(4) status with “tea party” or “patriot” descriptors. The status is for “social welfare” organizations that can be involved in politics as long as it is not their “primary activity.” Lerner raised concerns and “instructed that the criteria be immediately revised,” the report said. She also learned in early 2012 that the IRS had sent the groups letters asking “unnecessary” questions — as determined by her office — such as the identity of donors. But when questioned by reporters just days before that report was released, Lerner said that “we started seeing information in the press that raised questions for us and we went back and took a look.” Lerner retired from the IRS in September.

IRS Officials Misled Congress, Public, May 21

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