FreedomWorks Foundation Content

An Illustrated Timeline of the IRS Targeting Scandal

With new details emerging every day about the extent of the IRS targeting of conservative groups, FreedomWorks Creative Manager Matt Battaglia breaks down the timeline of events. Click ‘read more’ for images!

The condensed timeline, largely based on an awesome compilation by blogger Doug Ross:

1 March, 2010 – IRS officials start targeting organizations with “tea party”, “patriot”, and “9-12” in their names.

27 June, 2011 – Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Operations, learns of the inappropriate targeting.  She initiates an audit of the office involved, but the targeting continues.

1 March, 2012 – Top IRS officials meet to discuss media reports that conservative groups are being harassed/targeted.

22 March, 2012 – IRS Director Douglass Shulman testifies before Congress, stating “There’s absolutely no targeting.”

3 May, 2012 – Deputy Director Steven Miller informed that targeting and harassment is occurring.

4 June, 2012 – Inspector General informs senior Treasury Dept. officials of IRS probe.

11 November, 2012 – Director Shulman steps down, Steven Miller steps in as acting director

15 March, 2013 – New Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was informed of the IRS targeting probe

22 April, 2013 – When Jay Carney claims the White House Counsel learned of the targeting.

9 May, 2013 – Lerner answers question at unrelated event, admits IRS targeting. IRS later admits that the question was planted.

10 May, 2013 – IRS releases preemptive apology in advance of imminent Inspector General report.

13 May, 2013 – President Obama claims to have learned about the IRS targeting the previous Friday, “on Friday, from news reports”.

15 May, 2013 – Acting Director Steven Miller is announced to be resigning in June, 2013 (when he was going to be leaving anyways).

17 May, 2013 – The New York Times reports that the White House learned of the IRS targeting five months prior to the election.

22 May, 2013 – Lois Lerner gives an opening statemen in testimony before Congress, but pleads the fifth and refuses to answer questions.

23 May, 2013 – Lois Lerner placed on administrative leave.

Note that in addition to IRS Director Shulman testifying before Congress that no targeting was happening, top officials Steven Miller and Lois Lerner were both repeatedly specifically asked about the targeting of conservative groups. Neither one revealed the investigation that they knew to be ongoing. 

If you or your group was targeted or subjected to harrassment or special targeting by the IRS, share your story at!