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June 03, 2013

IRS Targeted Republican Donors, Too;
Witnesses Say Effort Was Led From Washington, DC

Get in their faces.

Former officials of Freedom’s Watch say they believe all five of the IRS audits involved donors to their group, based on conversations with IRS agents and donors at the time of the audits in 2011.

***

In February 2010, the same month the tea-party targeting started, according to a recent inspector general’s report, Freedom’s Watch was subjected to an IRS audit that focused largely on its political activities, an uncommon but not unprecedented action, election lawyers say. The probe broadened into other areas, including executive compensation.

About a year later, as many as five donors to Freedom’s Watch were subjected to IRS audits of their contributions that sought to impose gift taxes on their donations to the group, according to lawyers and former officials of Freedom’s Watch.

Tax experts say that effort was highly unusual. The IRS generally hadn’t sought to impose the gift tax on donations to tax-exempt groups such as Freedom’s Watch in at least 20 years, perhaps longer, following an unfavorable court ruling and changes in the law by Congress, according to lawyers and IRS documents.

Andy linked yesterday this important story, which shouldn't get forgotten just because of its weekend timing. From FoxNews:

[I]nterviews with an IRS field agent involved in the division that targeted Tea Party groups for additional vetting appear to contradict the White House’s assertion that rogue agents -- not the administration -- were behind the effort, according to partial transcripts released Sunday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The agent in the Cincinnati office, in which the targeting took place, told congressional investigators that he or she was told by a supervisor in March 2010 to search for Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status and that “Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.”

The agent said that by April the office had held up roughly 40 cases and at least seven were sent to Washington. The agent also said a second IRS employee asked for information on two other specific applicants in which Washington was interested in.

...

The administration has denied involvement in the scandal, repeatedly saying it was limited to the Cincinnati office.


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posted by Ace at 12:24 PM

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