Last Updated:September 19 @ 06:48 am

IRS continues to hound Tea Party Patriots

By Washington Times (DC)

The initial firestorm surrounding the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups may have subsided, but tea party leaders say the situation has only become worse and may lead to more lawsuits against the embattled agency.

New documents show the depth of information the IRS is seeking from Tea Party Patriots, a leading conservative group that first applied for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status in late 2010 and one of many organizations singled out for extra scrutiny by the Obama administration.

An IRS letter sent to the group last week and obtained by The Washington Times contains a laundry list of requests related to virtually all the group's activities, including its involvement in the 2012 election cycle and its get-out-the-vote efforts, fundraising activities, all radio and TV advertising, and other information.

The IRS also is asking for detailed financial records, including "the amounts and percentages of your total expenses that were for fundraising activities in the tax year 2011, 2012 and 2013."

The Aug. 20 request came as a shock to Tea Party Patriots, which said it already has provided to the IRS extensive information on all of its activities and thinks it is long past time to receive a "yes" or "no" answer.

The letter also is proof that, while President Obama and other liberals have referred to the situation as a "phony scandal," conservative organizations still are targets, said Cleta Mitchell, a Washington, D.C., lawyer representing the Tea Party Patriots and several other conservative groups.

"This is tantamount to an audit. This is the continuation of the same thing they've been doing for four years. They have not stopped," she said Thursday. "Tea Party Patriots has responded to all of the requests of the IRS to date, but that has gotten us nowhere. They just keep asking more questions. We are now looking at potential legal remedies, but that's not easy. Congress has made it quite difficult to sue the IRS."

The letter, according to the IRS, is simply an attempt to gather information necessary for the agency to determine whether the Tea Party Patriots is eligible for tax-exempt status under current law. Meeting the tax-exempt criteria requires that a group's "primary" function and activities not be political in nature.

Since news of the IRS targeting scandal broke this spring, the agency also argues that it has made significant progress in sifting through a backlog of groups -- including the Tea Party Patriots -- that have been waiting years for a decision.

As of last week, the IRS said, it has closed 64 percent of outstanding cases and approved 65 of 85 organizations for 501(c)(4) status.

But for the groups still awaiting approval, last week's letter represents nothing more than a delaying tactic, said Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.

Reviewing information on the group's activities in the 2012 election cycle pushes an IRS decision even farther down the road. It also raises the possibility that the organization's future efforts, including in the upcoming 2014 political contests, also will be subject to detailed review as part of a never-ending approval process.

"What that letter said to me is, 'We got away with discriminating against you and we're not stopping.' [The letter] comes as a complete surprise," Ms. Martin said.

On Thursday, the IRS said it couldn't comment specifically on the Tea Party Patriots case, but did defend its information-gathering efforts and argued that it has made great strides in its tax-exempt approval process.

"There are instances when IRS must seek more information before we can determine if an organization's application for tax-exempt status meets the necessary legal requirements," the agency said in a statement. "Effort and care has been taken to limit the number and nature of these follow-up questions to focus only on the information that we need in order to properly evaluate the application."

The agency also referred back to an Aug. 9 statement from acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, who said that political campaign intervention will be reviewed without regard to specific "labels," indicating that tea party or other conservative groups no longer will face extra scrutiny.

In its attempts to clear the backlog of agencies awaiting tax-exempt status, the IRS in June -- after news of its political targeting had come to light -- offered a deal to organizations such as the Tea Party Patriots.

In exchange for agreeing that no more than 40 percent of its "spending and time" would be related to political campaigns, a group's tax-exempt application would be expedited.

The Tea Party Patriots has yet to accept that deal, and Ms. Martin said it has no intention of doing so.

"I'm being punished because I didn't take them up on their made-up expedited process," she said.

Twenty-nine applicants have taken part in that process in recent months, according to the IRS.

___

(c)2013 The Washington Times (Washington, DC)

Visit The Washington Times (Washington, DC) at www.washingtontimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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12 Comments

  1. pwpmmpComment by pwpmmp
    August 30, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    This is how liberals handle any scandal that pertains to them. They harrumph and tut-tut and talk about how they are going “get the bottom of this” and “put a stop to it.” Then the liberal in-the-pocket-press ignores it and it’s just business as usual. Nothing changes, nothing improves, they just go about their illegal, immoral activities as they’ve been doing all along. Kick it on down the road. As my kids used to say in grade school, “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” That pretty much sums up the way liberals take ownership of their screw-ups.

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  2. my04301933Comment by my04301933
    August 30, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

    “That pretty much sums up the way liberals take ownership of their screw-ups”

    I agree with you…however, where the hell is the GOP Congress?

    On the other hand…its is a BOEHNER Congress…explains the “do-nothing” posture!

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    Rating: 4.6/5 (10 votes cast)
  3. davebnmComment by davebnm
    August 30, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    I just watched an old rerun of The Adventures of Robin Hood. ‘bama and his henchmen are a little like Robin Hood & his men, except that they act more like the Norsemen.

    He does rob from the rich, but he gives the loot to the useless.

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    Rating: 4.7/5 (15 votes cast)
  4. lihartkeComment by lihartke
    August 30, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

    WoW! They are still going at it? Amazing. The funny thing is the more the IRS does stuff like this the more the TEA part(average Americans) get pissed off and the day of reckoning is coming. Big bullies protect themselves through their tax and abuse policies but America sees what is going on and they are CLEARLY not happy. 67% of the population know that the IRS abused their power. Can’t WAIT to see Learner and Obama BEHIND BARS where they belong. Good luck fighting against Americanism. It is in our blood.Even if you weren’t born here, it is why you came. People can feel King Obama’s thuggery it is so thick.

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  5. shafawnComment by shafawn
    August 30, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    This is not benign rhetoric anymore. This is very dangerous when you add this to Pentagon claiming Christians are a dangerous threat to America and trying with all their might to disarm us.

    It’s really getting dangerous now. It’s too bad we don’t have a country that can step in and protect us from a totalitarian government like Europe had in the United States in the 40′s.

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  6. Pingback: IRS continues to hound Tea Party Patriots, demands more data for tax-exempt … – Washington Times | Conservative-Americans.com

  7. peletierComment by peletier
    August 30, 2013 @ 7:01 pm

    It is inmoral, and an outrage, that Barack Obama and his leftist Regime are using the IRS – once a respected and trusted Government Agency – as Hitler used the SS, and Stalin, his Secret Police to target and intimidate Americans, who want to practice their U.S. Constitutional given right, and yet, no one in Congress is doing a darn thing about it!

    Speaker Boehner has been a total failure in representing the interests of the American People and must step down, ASAP.

    GOD PROTECT OUR CITIZENS FROM THE CONTINUED ABUSE OF AUTHORITY, AGAINST OUR NATIONS’ CITIZENS.

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    • arwenusaComment by arwenusa
      August 31, 2013 @ 9:24 am

      I’m not sure the IRS was ever trusted! They’ve been caught trying to overcharge too many people for too many decades.

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  8. whodunitComment by whodunit
    August 30, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    Amazing. Nothing’s really changed with the IRS. They haven’t learned from their mistakes, they haven’t developed a conscience, they haven’t repented, and they haven’t even changed their practices . . . Hmmmm . . . wonder why that is . . . Could it be because there hasn’t been a single consequence or punishment for these crooks for their blatant abuse of power? Time for Lois Lerner to be fired — without pay — and the rest of those involved should suffer the same fate. Then let’s talk about criminal prosecution. Let them suffer the consequences they should suffer, as a result of their criminal actions! They helped to rig and throw an entire election — isn’t that considered treason?

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    Rating: 4.4/5 (7 votes cast)
  9. whodunitComment by whodunit
    August 30, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

    Ironically, all this IRS Abuse of Power hasn’t diminished the number of members within the various Tea Party groups/organizations around the country. Oh, no, instead, the numbers of people attending Tea Party meetings and rallies has skyrocketed. I went to a meeting myself a few weeks ago, that turned out to be standing room only.

    Ted Cruz has got it right, when he talks about the Grass Roots Tsunami. It’s happening, and it’s going to be quite the tidal wave . . .

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  10. sacheveraljames42Comment by sacheveraljames42
    August 31, 2013 @ 8:14 am

    The “bottom of this” rests with this administration and it’s willing accomplices. This agency needs to be defunded and thrown into the trash heap along with Obama Nocare. We have become a Third World country under this inept and dangerous president. His lack of knowledge of how anything works,both nationally and international is not only unsettling, but dangerous for all of us. It’s too bad that the morons who voted for this clown won’t be the first to die when the Middle East explodes from his ineptness.

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  11. Pingback: IRS Tea Party Investigation: Partisan Bickering Takes Center Stage – International Business Times | Conservative-Americans.com

  12. Pingback: IRS continues to hound Tea Party Patriots – GOPUSA | Conservative-Americans.com

  13. ara5353Comment by ara5353
    September 3, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

    Obviously the Administration does not care at all about the laws of this country, except when they can be used to destroy their political opponents. They feel that they are above the law, or that they ARE the law and, like a bunch of imperial tyrants, their actions are never to be questioned. Unless they are all arrested and thrown in prison, they will not change their course of action. If the Republican leadership in Congress continues to collaborate with Obama and the Democrats, it will not be long before our country is cast upon the trash heap of history.

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  14. juicyfruit56Comment by juicyfruit56
    September 5, 2013 @ 7:44 pm

    I’m confused as to why the Tea Party does not become a badly needed third party. We have currently a one party system under the guise of a two party system. The Tea Party would have no problem becoming the leading party in this country and I think they must know that! So why aren’t they!

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