Paul L. Caron

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The IRS Scandal, Day 611

IRS Logo 2Washington Post, Shrinking IRS Struggles to Keep Up With Growing Number of Tax-exempt Charities:

Remember when conservatives accused the Internal Revenue Service of being too aggressive toward nonprofit tea party groups? Now the agency faces criticism for the opposite problem, this time related to a different type of tax-exempt organization.

An independent review released last month faulted the IRS for scant oversight of charities, saying the agency examined the groups less frequently while its budget and workforce steadily shrank in recent years.

The Government Accountability Office said in its report that the IRS audited 0.7 percent of charities in 2013, down from 0.81 percent in 2011. By comparison, the agency audited individuals and corporations at rates of 1 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, in 2013.

Meanwhile, the IRS’s budget decreased by $900 billion after 2010, and its workforce lost 10,000 full-time employees over the same period, according to the review. The staff reductions included 47 positions within the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, which examines charities, nonprofit advocacy groups and other entities that qualify for tax-free status. ...

But congressional Republicans, who now represent a majority in both chambers, have shown little desire to boost the IRS’s resources. A comprehensive spending bill lawmakers passed in December trimmed $346 million from the agency’s budget.

It’s worth noting that the IRS has shown little appetite for challenging tax-exempt groups after its tea party controversy, in which the agency was found to have targeted nonprofit advocacy groups based on their names and policy positions.

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


PN, I agree. The IRS belatedly discovered its bias and has presumably decided to step back from any judgment calls in the gray area. By bias, I mean the natural inclination of left-leaning people to believe that advocating progressive causes is a public service, whereas advocating limited government is politics. In fact they should both be categorized similarly. (If right-leaning people ran the IRS, the reverse situation would have occurred.)

Since the IRS is not willing to take on Media Matters and MoveOn, they can't take on Tea Party groups.

Posted by: AMT buff | Jan 12, 2015 12:51:03 PM

Mr. wodun: Why is the claim extraordinary? Given the calumny that has been heaped upon the IRS as a result of tea party controversy, would you not expect it would have little appetite to take on groups claiming to be tax exempt?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 11, 2015 9:52:53 AM

"Meanwhile, the IRS’s budget decreased by $900 billion after 2010"
Typo? Or do we really spend more on the IRS than we did fighting a war in Iraq for ten years.

"It’s worth noting that the IRS has shown little appetite for challenging tax-exempt groups after its tea party controversy"

I call BS on that one. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Posted by: wodun | Jan 10, 2015 1:12:46 PM

That's the plan, Stan.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 10, 2015 8:25:50 AM