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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.
On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to cosponsor the Don’t Weaponize the IRS Act, S. 1777, introduced by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). This bill would protect free speech and shield Americans from being targeted due to their political beliefs by codifying the May 2020 Treasury Department rule that eliminated the requirement of 501(c)(4) organizations to disclose donors’ personal information to the IRS.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finalizing its donor privacy regulations for Schedule B, Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks’ President, commented:
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- FreedomWorks’ Vice President of Advocacy, Noah Wall, testified before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this morning regarding “Guidance under Section 6033 Regarding the Reporting Requirements of Exempt Organizations,” which is the proposal to eliminate the schedule B donor disclosure requirement for non-501c3 exempt organizations. FreedomWorks’ Vice President Noah Wall commented:
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.