June 27, 2013
To pay off those groups who suffered targeting practices, the IRS is offering $1,000 as an “apology payment”.
The National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), a division of the IRS, stated that the IRS was uncooperative when they applied for tax-exempt status. The NTA said that the IRS taking up to a year to approve a group for tax-exempt status is normal.
Nina Olson, spokesperson for the NTA said: “Today, the IRS is an institution in crisis. As a consequence of this crisis, the IRS gives limited consideration to taxpayer rights or fundamental tax administration principles as it struggles to get its job done.”
These apology payments are issued “not to compensate the taxpayer fully for his or her time and frustration, but to serve as a symbolic gesture to show that the government recognizes its mistake and the taxpayer’s burden,” Olson said. “These payments might enhance the public perception of the IRS and the tax system as just and fair.”
Olsen stated that because the IRS is under-funded, employees took advantage of their position.
Russell George, inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published the report that spearheaded the investigation by the Federal Bureau of investigations (FBI) and members of the Obama administration to decipher how the IRS was targeting groups with a “be on the lookout” (BOLO) list of terms such as “Tea Party” and “patriot.
At a House Ways and Means Committee (HWMC) hearing this week, House Representative Sander Levin released a report showing that liberal-minded groups were targeted as well with keywords such as “progressive”, “Israel”, “occupy” and “blue”.
Levin wrote to George, stating that: “There is increasing evidence that the May 14, 2013 audit was fundamentally flawed and that your handling of it has failed to meet the necessary test of objectivity and forthrightness.”
Levin stated in his letter to George: “These new disclosures are not consistent with the description of your audit work in the [Fiscal Year] 2013 Audit Plan that failed to disclose that you were only looking for Tea Party organizations and not all potential political activities. They are also not consistent with the stated objective on the first page of the May 14, 2013 audit report. … There is no mention of your audit being limited to only one political side—Tea Party and conservative organizations.”
The letter also stated: “Since, the term ‘progressive’ was included on the BOLOs, please explain to me how it is conceivable that ‘investigators were not aware of any BOLOs listing progressive organizations when conducting the review’ as stated above.”
Mainstream media (MSM) asserts that the IRS targeting is blown out of proportions because “the IRS is charged with enforcing tax law, which forbids political activity for 501(c)(3) charities that can receive tax-deductible contributions and limits campaign involvement for 501(c)4 social welfare groups that don’t have to disclose their donors.”
The HWMC released documents that prove that there was obvious targeting by the IRS upon groups that they found questionable for the sake of stifling their ability to speak publically. Key words were identified to better corner those groups and gather intelligence on their organization.
Danny Werfel, acting director of the IRS said that he became aware of the BOLO lists recently and he confirmed that the lists “contained inappropriate criteria that was in use.”
House Representative Charles Boustany said that Werfel would “face some tough questioning” at the next HWMC. Considering the millions spent in bonuses for staffers, Boustany was upset that Werfel appeared so nonchalant.
Boustany said: “I have a real problem with Werfel at this point in time. He needs to take stronger steps. I’m not satisfied with his leadership in the organization right now.”
More cover-ups at the IRS include Greg Roseman, deputy director for the IRS has invoked his 5th Amendment rights regarding favoritism with the Strong Castle, Inc corporation that won $500 million in IT contracts from the IRS.
The owner, Braulio Castillo is friends with Roseman, which resulted in the lucrative contracts.