Inspector General: IRS Reviewed Every Org with 'Tea Party' in Name
The Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury has released its 54-page report on the targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Earlier Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would be opening a criminal probe into the IRS scandal, though the White House declined to condemn the IRS action, despite expressions of outrage by President Barack Obama.
The Treasury report does not conclude that the review of certain organizations' tax-exempt status was inappropriate, but rather that the selection criteria used to identify these organizations were wrong.
Other important findings include:
- 70% of applications for tax-exempt status by all organizations of any kind were approved in fiscal year 2010
- Over an 18-month period, all applicants with the words "Tea Party" in their names were reviewed; later, "Patriots" and "9/12" were added; other names included "We The People"
- 58% of the groups chosen for review received requests for information from the IRS that were "unnecessary," including the names of donors and "the type of conversations and discussions members and participants" had at meetings
- Because of the additional scrutiny applied to these groups, many experienced significant delays that entitled them to sue the IRS
- Because of the selection criteria based on names and conservative policy positions, some other politicized groups were missed by the IRS
- Senior IRS officials claim the wrongdoing was not instigated "by any individual or organization outside the IRS"
- There was "ineffective oversight by management" over the review process
- Officials in the Exempt Organizations division disagreed with some of the findings of the Treasury IG
The full Treasury IG report is embedded below.