IRS and the Tea Party: Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review

Department of Treasury
Kurtis Toppert(編集)
Walter Seager(編集)

内容This report presents the results of our review to determine whether allegations were founded that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): 1) targeted specific groups applying for tax-exempt status, 2)delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, and 3) requested unnecessary information from targeted groups. This audit was initiated based on concerns expressed by members of Congress and reported in the media regarding the IRS’s treatment of organizations applying for tax-exempt status. This review is included in our Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Audit Plan and addresses the major management challenge of Tax Compliance Initiatives.

We would like to clarify a few issues based on the IRS response to our report. The response states that our report views approvals as evidence that the Exempt Organizations function should not have looked closely at those applications. We disagree with this statement. Our objection was to the criteria used to identify these applications for review. We believe all applications should be reviewed prior to approval to determine whether tax-exempt status should be granted. The IRS’s response also states that issues discussed in the report have been resolved. We disagree with this statement as well. Nine recommendations were made to correct concerns we raised in the report, and corrective actions have not been fully implemented. Further, as our report notes, a substantial number of applications have been under review, some for more than three years and through two election cycles, and remain open. Until these cases are closed by the IRS and our recommendations are fully implemented, we do not consider the concerns in this report to be resolved. Management’s complete response to the draft report is included as Appendix VIII.

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