IRS reluctant to give up targeting of conservative groups
The IRS is refusing to recant the targeting criteria it used to single out tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny, according to court filings made public Wednesday that show the tax agency still struggling with the fallout from the scandal.One of those still awaiting approval of their tax exempt status is an Albuquerque tea party group that has been waiting seven years. I would call that an unreasonable delay.
At least three tea party groups are still awaiting approval from the IRS more than three years after agents publicly admitted they’d asked inappropriate questions and put the groups through unreasonable delays in obtaining tax-exempt status.
Last month the IRS told both Congress and a federal judge that it would start processing the outstanding applications — but the agency has refused to say how or when, leaving the groups themselves struggling to make sense of things.
Making matters ever more difficult, the IRS specifically refused in court papers to reject further use of the criteria it used to single out tea party and conservative groups in the first place.
“Despite all the representations made by the IRS about having changed its ways, it still asserts that the viewpoint-based Targeting Criteria are relevant for making a determination of tax-exempt status,” Edward Greim, the lawyer representing tea party groups in a class-action lawsuit, told the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Just weeks ago, IRS Commissioner John G. Koskinen had assured Congress the targeting was a thing of the past, and said his agency will no longer use the “Be on lookout,” or BOLO, lists.