Domestic Taxes

Ways and Means chairman alleges continued IRS targeting

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday released an interview transcript that Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) says demonstrates the continued targeting of Tea Party groups by the IRS. 

{mosads}The transcript, from an interview held on Aug. 1 as part of the committee’s investigation, features questioning of an unidentified IRS agent.

In the transcript, the agent was asked: “If you saw — I am asking this currently, if today if a Tea Party case, a group — a case from a Tea Party group came to in to your desk, you reviewed the file and there was no evidence of political activity, would you potentially approve that case?”

In response, the agent said that, lacking guidance from the old “Be On the Look Out” list that helped spark the recent targeting scandal, he would set the group’s application aside for secondary screening for political advocacy.

Pressed to clarify if he would treat the application as a political advocacy case even if there were no direct evidence of political activity in the application, the agent replied, “Based on my current manager’s direction, uh huh.”

The transcript’s release was accompanied by a thunderous denunciation from Camp, the committee’s chairman.

“It is outrageous that IRS management continues to target Tea Party cases without any justification,” said Camp in a statement. “The fact that the IRS still continues to treat the Tea Party differently and subject them to additional targeting is outrageous and it must stop immediately.

The IRS responded to Camp’s release of the transcript with their own statement, declaring that since the arrival of acting Commissioner Danny Werfel, “IRS policy is now clear that screening is based on activity, not words in a name.”

“Political campaign intervention will be reviewed without regard to specific labels,” the statement continues. “The IRS will not tolerate any deviation from this.”

The IRS also added that they “look forward to seeing the full transcript to gain a fuller understanding of the context of the interview.”

This story was updated at 6:13 a.m.


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