Group files suit for IRS records

A government oversight group on Tuesday filed a motion in federal court to force the Obama administration to release thousands of records linked to the IRS’s targeting of conservative-leaning groups.

Cause of Action is seeking the enforcement of a prior court order requiring the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) to produce more than 2,500 documents.

{mosads}The group argues that TIGTA continues to protect the White House by denying the disclosure of the records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

TIGTA had asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this month for permission to withhold documents under Section 6103 of the tax code. 

But the nonprofit group argues that section of the tax code is designed to protect taxpayers, not the government. 

“Section 6103 was passed to stop White House and other officials from obtaining the tax return information of government critics and political opponents,” said Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action. 

“TIGTA, however, has asked the court to make the unprecedented ruling that the taxpayer protection law actually shields the identities of the government lawbreakers who requested or obtained tax data without proper authorization,” he said. 

“Such a ruling will limit government accountability and encourage future abuse.” 

The move comes just ahead of a planned hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about government transparency and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

Earlier this month, the Obama administration denied a FOIA request from The Hill to publicly release more than 500 documents related to the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups.

The Hill requested 2013 emails between the IRS and TIGTA in an attempt to examine the decision-making process of the government. 

TIGTA said it could not release the 512 documents because they were exempted under the law.

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