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The targeting of conservative citizen organizations by the Internal Revenue Service should concern every American. As one of the most powerful federal agencies, the IRS can devastate associations of likeminded individuals, such as nonprofit Tea Party groups, that form a fundamental part of America’s political culture. Citizens use these groups not only to assert their views and opinions under the protection of the First Amendment, but also to advance the social welfare of the country.
The Internal Revenue Service is the nation’s tax collection agency, charged with collecting more than $2 trillion annually from American taxpayers. At the end of 2012, the IRS reported that it has 97,717 employees spread across offices in each of the 50 states. The IRS also has broad powers to investigate and prosecute tax cases. For fiscal year 2013, $12.7 billion in funds appropriated by Congress will support IRS activities.
On May 10, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service admitted to inappropriately targeting conservative groups for "extra scrutiny," in connection with their applications for tax-exempt status. Following the revelation of the IRS targeting, President Obama denounced the targeting as outrageous and unacceptable and stated that the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they’re applying the laws in a nonpartisan way. He pledged that the Administration would find out exactly what happened and would make sure wrongdoers were held fully accountable.
Opinion for the Court filed by Senior Circuit Judge SENTELLE. SENTELLE, Senior Circuit Judge: Although these cases are not officially consolidated, they were separately argued before the same panel on the same day and are governed by the same legal principles on decision. We have therefore determined that a single opinion is sufficient for the disposition of both. Although there are differences in factual detail, those differences are immaterial to our ultimate decision on all issues, and therefore, all our statements of law hereinafter are applicable to both.
Chairman Cruz, Ranking Member Coons, and distinguished Members of the Subcommittee, on behalf of the American Center for Law & Justice and 185,913 of our members who signed our Petition to End IRS Abuse - thank you for allowing me to address the subject of the IRS’s ongoing targeting scandal and the many troubling developments that have recently come to light.
This report has cleared the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration disclosure review process and information determined to be restricted from public release has been redacted from this document. Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began for additional information from the IRS that using inappropriate criteria to identify included unnecessary, burdensome questions organizations applying for tax-exempt status to (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The IRS review for indications of significant political later informed some organizations that they did campaign intervention.
Left-wing activists like the Soros-backed ProPublica group helped Lois Lerner’s IRS persecute and harass conservative nonprofits that were seeking tax-exempt status. The great Daniel Webster famously remarked that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Webster’s words are as true today as they were 200 years ago.