The Conversation

Why did the IRS target the Leadership Institute?

In response to IRS's Miller Misled Congress About 'Uptick':

The IRS went after the Leadership Institute, which is hardly a "new" organization. If they were so busy with this "uptick" how did they have time to audit the old groups? 

On June 1, 2011, LI received notice of an audit of its tax return and activities in 2008.

What followed was a more than year-long investigation of more than 23,430 pages of records and requests for items like:

— a list of 2008 interns and their future employers;

— sample emails between employers and LI regarding; and

— how LI’s more than 300 trainings are advertised.

Ultimately, the IRS accepted the Institute’s tax return as filed.

“The IRS’ indefensible behavior is worse than we first thought, as it targeted both new and existing conservative groups in politically motivated attacks,” said Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute. “Fortunately my Leadership Institute had the resources to stand up to the government’s bullying and intimidation. Other groups, including grassroots and tea party groups we’ve helped train, did not.  Defending ourselves from the harassing audit cost my organization more than $50,000 in legal fees alone.”


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