IRS tax scandal in US: new evidence undermines political bias claims
Nearly three-quarters of the political groups subjected to extra tax inspection during a recent IRS scandal were not identifiably opponents of the White House, officials have revealed.Republicans have called for a special prosecutor to investigate what they call "attacks on American democracy" after it emerged that rightwing groups were singled out for special treatment by the Inland Revenue Service.
But in testimony before Congress, two senior civil servants brought in to clean up after the affair gave evidence that suggests the reality may have been more complex than a simple case of political bias.
The IRS office in Cincinnati which decides whether to exempt such groups from income tax singled out 72 of them for scrutiny because they were openly affiliated with the Tea Party movement, together with 24 others whose names included associated labels such as "patriot".
To qualify for tax exempt status such groups have to show they are not directly backing a political candidate but they are allowed to campaign on general "civic issues".
However a further 226 other political groups were also placed in the same review whose affiliations were not immediately apparent from their name alone, which is often the case among liberal campaign groups. It remains unknown how many of these were in fact Democrat-leaning groups, partly because individual names cannot be publicly released under IRS confidentiality laws.
The IRS did reveal there had been an explosion in groups of all political persuasion seeking to qualify for this type of tax exemption after a relaxation in campaign finance rules meant this would also allow them to keep the identity of their donors secret. In total 3,357 applications were made in 2012 compared with 1,735 in 2010 before the law changed.
Read more @: IRS tax scandal in US: new evidence undermines political bias claims | World news | guardian.co.uk
Hmmm... Maybe there is more to this. Maybe the IRS in fact did not only single out Tea Party affiliated groups.. Maybe the Republican story is slowly starting to crumble.
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