IRS targeted conservative groups until last month
There are new revelations that have been uncovered in the IRS scandal. While the initial audit by the Treasury Department’s Inspector General indicated that the criteria used to target Tea Party and conservative groups was changed in May 2012, The Hill reported yesterday that new acting-IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel admitted that the agency was still inappropriately scrutinizing these groups until just last month:
The acting head of the IRS said Monday that the agency was still giving improper scrutiny to groups seeking tax-exempt status when he arrived in May, suggesting that the probe into the IRS’s treatment of conservative groups could widen.
Danny Werfel, the acting chief, said that the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt applications used other “be on the lookout” lists as they tried to flag cases that needed more attention.
The disclosure came as Werfel and the IRS were rolling out a broad review of the agency’s handling of tax-exempt applications and its targeting of Tea Party groups – an appraisal that Werfel termed critical to the agency’s efforts to regain the trust of the taxpayers.
As part of that review, Werfel said he was suspending the use of any BOLO lists as part of the tax-exempt application process.
“We believe there continued to be inappropriate or questionable criteria,” Werfel, who took the helm at the IRS on May 22, told reporters. “Once we came to that conclusion, we took immediate action.”
Werfel, who was appointed to lead the IRS last month, blasted his predecessors and also told reporters that employees thought to be involved in the targeting of these groups have been suspended. He also claims, however, that there is no evidence of intentional wrongdoing by IRS employees.