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Thread: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

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    I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Conservative groups were not the only ones that experienced long waits as the scrutinizing went beyond what was originally thought.

    WASHINGTON — In 2010, a tiny Palestinian-rights group called Minnesota Break the Bonds applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status. Two years and a lot of prodding later, the I.R.S. sent the group’s leaders a series of questions and requests almost identical to the ones it was sending to Tea Party groups at the time.

    What are “the qualifications and experience” of Break the Bonds instructors? Does the group “present a sufficiently full and fair explanation of the relevant facts” about the West Bank and Gaza? Provide copies of pamphlets, brochures or other literature distributed at group events? Reveal all fees collected and “any voluntary contributions” made at group functions? Provide a template of petitions, postcards and any other material used to influence legislation, and a detailed accounting of the time and money spent to influence state legislators?

    The controversy that erupted in May has focused on an ideological question: Were conservative groups singled out for special treatment based on their politics, or did the I.R.S. equally target liberal groups? But a closer look at the I.R.S. operation suggests that the problem was less about ideology and more about how a process instructing reviewers to “be on the lookout” for selected terms was applied to any group that mentioned certain words in its application.

    (snip)


    I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    Conservative groups were not the only ones that experienced long waits as the scrutinizing went beyond what was originally thought.

    WASHINGTON — In 2010, a tiny Palestinian-rights group called Minnesota Break the Bonds applied to the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt status. Two years and a lot of prodding later, the I.R.S. sent the group’s leaders a series of questions and requests almost identical to the ones it was sending to Tea Party groups at the time.

    What are “the qualifications and experience” of Break the Bonds instructors? Does the group “present a sufficiently full and fair explanation of the relevant facts” about the West Bank and Gaza? Provide copies of pamphlets, brochures or other literature distributed at group events? Reveal all fees collected and “any voluntary contributions” made at group functions? Provide a template of petitions, postcards and any other material used to influence legislation, and a detailed accounting of the time and money spent to influence state legislators?

    The controversy that erupted in May has focused on an ideological question: Were conservative groups singled out for special treatment based on their politics, or did the I.R.S. equally target liberal groups? But a closer look at the I.R.S. operation suggests that the problem was less about ideology and more about how a process instructing reviewers to “be on the lookout” for selected terms was applied to any group that mentioned certain words in its application.

    (snip)


    I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political
    Ah ... so ... the bottom line, then, is the BOLO call went out on Conservatives and Palestinians?
    I must say, I am surprised the Obama Administration would want to flag Palestinians ... maybe that's really why Miller is gone.
    HooWee ... musta been hell to pay when Obama found out he'd been blocking Palestinians.

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbabgone View Post
    Ah ... so ... the bottom line, then, is the BOLO call went out on Conservatives and Palestinians?
    I must say, I am surprised the Obama Administration would want to flag Palestinians ... maybe that's really why Miller is gone.
    HooWee ... musta been hell to pay when Obama found out he'd been blocking Palestinians.
    There is no evidence that Obama targeted anyone, from the OP:

    Two months of investigation by Congress and the I.R.S. has produced new documents that have clouded much of the controversy’s narrative. In the more complicated picture now emerging, many organizations other than conservative groups were singled out: “progressive” organizations, medical marijuana purveyors, organizations formed to carry out President Obama’s health care law, and open source software developers who create software tools for computer code writers and distribute them free of charge.

    “As soon as you say the words ‘open source,’ like other organizations that use ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Occupy,’ it gets you red-flagged,” said Luis Villa, a lawyer and a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative. The I.R.S. feared that such groups were really moneymaking enterprises.

    According to the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, the I.R.S. received 199,689 applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012. In 2012 alone, the agency received 73,319, of which about 22,000 were not approved in the initial review process. The inspector general looked at 296 applications flagged as potentially being from political groups. That means most of the applications pulled aside for further scrutiny in those years had nothing to do with politics, conservative or liberal, just as most of the red flags thrown up by the I.R.S.’s lookout lists were not overtly political.

    Chi Eta Phi Sorority, a mainly African-American nurses’ society that advertises its mission as “social change,” applied for 501(c)(3) charitable status on June 24, 2011, days before the I.R.S. tightened its scrutiny of tax exemption applications. The organization fell under a “group rulings” flag in one of the lookout lists. Two years and 73 questions later, Chi Eta Phi is still waiting for the I.R.S.’s Cincinnati office, which handles the tax exemption applications, to respond.

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    There is no evidence that Obama targeted anyone, from the OP:

    Two months of investigation by Congress and the I.R.S. has produced new documents that have clouded much of the controversy’s narrative. In the more complicated picture now emerging, many organizations other than conservative groups were singled out: “progressive” organizations, medical marijuana purveyors, organizations formed to carry out President Obama’s health care law, and open source software developers who create software tools for computer code writers and distribute them free of charge.

    “As soon as you say the words ‘open source,’ like other organizations that use ‘Tea Party’ or ‘Occupy,’ it gets you red-flagged,” said Luis Villa, a lawyer and a member of the board of directors of the Open Source Initiative. The I.R.S. feared that such groups were really moneymaking enterprises.

    According to the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, the I.R.S. received 199,689 applications for tax-exempt status between 2010 and 2012. In 2012 alone, the agency received 73,319, of which about 22,000 were not approved in the initial review process. The inspector general looked at 296 applications flagged as potentially being from political groups. That means most of the applications pulled aside for further scrutiny in those years had nothing to do with politics, conservative or liberal, just as most of the red flags thrown up by the I.R.S.’s lookout lists were not overtly political.

    Chi Eta Phi Sorority, a mainly African-American nurses’ society that advertises its mission as “social change,” applied for 501(c)(3) charitable status on June 24, 2011, days before the I.R.S. tightened its scrutiny of tax exemption applications. The organization fell under a “group rulings” flag in one of the lookout lists. Two years and 73 questions later, Chi Eta Phi is still waiting for the I.R.S.’s Cincinnati office, which handles the tax exemption applications, to respond.
    Attaboy, Pete ... you hang in there no matter what ... after maybe 50 years history may grant you a grudging respect for holding out.

    pete as japanese soldier.jpg

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Well, considering that Conservatives and Palestinians have been a major pain in the backside for the Obama administration lately, I can't say I'm surprised.

    Of course that doesn't dismiss the fact that it's incredibly biased, dishonest, and immoral.

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    There is no evidence that Obama targeted anyone
    it took almost a year into the Watergate investigation before Nixon was tied to it. You want to call the IRS scandal over and that investigation has only been going on less then two months

    with your logic there shouldn't even been the Watergate investigation they caught the guys who did the breakin that night

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by trfjr View Post
    it took almost a year into the Watergate investigation before Nixon was tied to it. You want to call the IRS scandal over and that investigation has only been going on less then two months

    with your logic there shouldn't even been the Watergate investigation they caught the guys who did the breakin that night
    Doesn't change the fact that right now there is no evidence tying Obama to this.

    Despite already in this thread some thinking Obama is tied to this.

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by trfjr View Post
    it took almost a year into the Watergate investigation before Nixon was tied to it. You want to call the IRS scandal over and that investigation has only been going on less then two months

    with your logic there shouldn't even been the Watergate investigation they caught the guys who did the breakin that night
    There is no parallel with Nixon and this scandal. NONE. With Watergate there was the illegal breaking, with the IRS there appears to be no illegal activity that is apparent. No Woodward & Bernstein and no deep throat.

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    FWIW, I went through the 501c3 process for Advocacy for exceptional cats in imminent danger and it is a long & complicated process. I was told that animal rescue is the least amount of stress you get from the IRS and 9 months into the process, I withdrew my application for other reasons.

    I think I'm trying to say that it is not wrong that it takes a long time to process these things and I would think (and hope) that the 501c4 process should be even more challenging. Let's realize that these ar businesses that want to be exempt from taxation and thus not contribute to society, only to push an agenda on society.

    So, I have no sympathy for any of them. While I am very discouraged with Obama, I don't see how this becomes a WH scandal unless there are formal instructions from the WH to the IRS. Otherwise, each office chooses who to harass and who to be gentle to. Do persona;l politics ever play a role in this? Sure, how could they not. If I'm a Republican, I might be inclined to hassle the Democrats and vice-versa. This is not how it should be but it is just part of reality.

    This scandal doesn't seem to have any legs. In the case of F&F I thought there would be heads rolling. Instead, it seems to have been forgotten. This was a case of sheer incompetence and did some definable damage. The IRS "scandal" is pretty much meaningless by comparison. .

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    Re: I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political

    Quote Originally Posted by pbrauer View Post
    There is no parallel with Nixon and this scandal. NONE. With Watergate there was the illegal breaking, with the IRS there appears to be no illegal activity that is apparent. No Woodward & Bernstein and no deep throat.
    Google and read the Hatch act. And they FBI wouldn't be involved if their wasn't a possible crime committed

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