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Beginning in 2010, several different IRS offices – including those in Cincinnati, Ohio; El Monte, California; Laguna Niguel, California; and Washington D.C. systematically discriminated against conservative groups. The targeting was not the work of a few “rogue” agents, as IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed.
The IRS targeted organizations who “criticize how the country is being run” - singling out those with “tea party”, “9/12” and “patriot” in their names.
The agency harassed right-leaning 501(c)(3) applicants with intrusive questions, including “please detail the content of your members’ prayers."
160 such applications were delayed for over 200 days – some for more than three years and two election cycles.
During this period, the IRS approved applications from several dozen groups who used words like “progressive”, “liberal” and “equality.” Media Trackers, a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months, was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”
The White House account of these events has changed several times. While the White House initially maintained that it had learned about the scandal through the media, it has since been revealed that both Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were aware of the scandal a month prior.
Under the Obama Administration, IRS higher-ups have treated themselves to extravagant entertainment and lavish conferences on the taxpayers’ dime. The agency spent over $60,000 producing two short films for fun. In one instance, the IRS “paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise.” The IRS also spent millions on luxurious accommodations for its managers – in violation of its own policies - and paid $135,000 fees to at least 15 outside speakers. One speaker was paid $17,000 to discuss “leadership through art.”
Democrats have attempted to shield themselves from blame by pointing out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a Bush appointee. Shulman’s wife, however, is a senior employee at liberal group Public Campaign, an organization “dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
Sarah Hall Ingram, who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting, is now the director of the IRS’ ObamaCare office. Since graduating from Georgetown Law, Ingram has never worked anywhere except the IRS. Interestingly, Ingram has visited the White House 165 times.
The IRS has been put in charge of enforcing ObamaCare. Federal agencies are currently assembling a “Federal Data Services Hub” in what has been called “the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” by USA Today. Under ObamaCare, government-approved health insurance providers will submit reports about their customers to this database - where they will be monitored and cross-checked by the IRS. Although only 10% of Americans now say they have confidence in the IRS, we are apparently expected to trust the agency to oversee our healthcare.
FreedomWorks is proud to announce that our bill of the month for December 2019 is the Small Business Prosperity Act of 2019, H.R. 4947, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). The Small Business Prosperity Act would amend the tax code to make permanent the tax benefits pass-through businesses under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s twenty-second regulatory review of 2019! Our Regulatory Action Center proudly updates you with our favorite tidbits from the swamp. We want to smash barriers between bureaucracy and the American people by delivering regulatory news straight to FreedomWorks activists. Check back in two weeks for the next edition.
FreedomWorks Foundation is urging the IRS to protect donor privacy from threats and physical intimidation. Don’t let leftist mobs prevent you from donating to the causes that matter to you and your family. Make your voice heard HERE.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the Treasury Department and IRS’ proposed rule that would excuse tax-exempt political groups from automatically reporting their major donors to the agency, a move that would further protect donor privacy and Americans’ First Amendment rights, Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks President, commented:
Last week, the Senate very quietly passed the Taxpayer First Act, H.R. 3151. The bill, which now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature, seeks to improve customer service and better assist taxpayer appeals. The bill included other provisions, however, that seek to rein in the Internal Revenue Services abuse of civil asset forfeiture laws.
On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and urge them to vote NO on S.J.Res. 64, the disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify the Department of the Treasury’s policy to end the collection of donor information to certain 501(c) nonprofit organizations. S.J.Res. 64 would weaken free speech protections and put donor privacy at risk.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has a long, well-documented history of abusing federal forfeiture laws. They seize assets from innocent Americans on the mere suspicion of malfeasance. If the IRS believes a citizen is structuring deposits to avoid reporting requirements, the agency can seize your money. Administrative reforms were made in 2015 to roll back some abuses, but there is still much work to be done.
Americans often hear from radical leftists that “the rich need to pay their fair share” of income taxes. The rhetoric is hard to avoid. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) based partly based his failed 2016 presidential campaign on soaking the wealthy in taxes, and House and Senate Democrats railed against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, H.R. 1, because it lowered tax rates across the board, including on higher-income earners.
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee want to know why the Department of Justice (DOJ) has denied petitions by Americans whose money was seized by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The seized money was subject to federal civil asset forfeiture hearings in which the individual from whom the money was taken had to prove that it wasn’t connected to any wrongdoing.