The initial firestorm surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups may have subsided, but tea party leaders say the situation has only become worse and may lead to more lawsuits against the embattled agency.
New show the depth of information the IRS is seeking from Tea Party Patriots, a leading conservative group that first applied for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status in late 2010 and one of many organizations singled out for extra scrutiny by the Obama administration.
An IRS letter sent to the group last week and obtained by The Washington Times contains a laundry list of requests related to virtually all the group’s activities, including its involvement in the 2012 election cycle and its get-out-the-vote efforts, fundraising activities, all radio and TV advertising, and other information.
The IRS also is asking for detailed , including “the amounts and percentages of your total expenses that were for fundraising activities in the tax year 2011, 2012 and 2013.”
The Aug. 20 request came as a shock to Tea Party Patriots, which said it already has provided to the IRS extensive information on all of its activities and thinks it is long past time to receive a “yes” or “no” answer.
The letter also is proof that, while President Obama and other liberals have referred to the situation as a “phony scandal,” conservative organizations still are targets, said Cleta Mitchell, a Washington, D.C., representing the Tea Party Patriots and several other conservative groups.
“This is tantamount to an audit. This is the continuation of the same thing they’ve been doing for four years. They have not stopped,” she said Thursday. “Tea Party Patriots has responded to all of the requests of the IRS to date, but that has gotten us nowhere. They just keep asking more questions. We are now looking at potential legal remedies, but that’s not . Congress has made it quite difficult to sue the IRS.”
The letter, according to the IRS, is simply an attempt to gather information necessary for the agency to determine whether the Tea Party Patriots is eligible for tax-exempt status under current law. Meeting the tax-exempt criteria requires that a group’s “primary” function and activities not be political in nature.
CONTINUED: IRS continues to hound Tea Party Patriots, demands more data for tax-exempt status - Washington Times