The IRS Crisis: Mismanagement of Tax Exempt Determinations

Government Regulations of Political Speech by Religious and Other 501(c)(3) Organizations, Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, August 14, 2013.

  • The Commission was formed by the Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability (ECFA). The report was was put together for Senator Chuck Grassley by a group of faith leaders argues for ending the ban on clergy endorsements of political candidates.

Position Paper on Endorsements, David Saperstein, Panel of Religious Sector Representatives, August 2, 2013.

  • The Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty strongly opposes any lifting of the ban of political endorsements by houses of worship or clergy functioning in their professional capacity in relation to a house of worship or denomination.

Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, May 14, 2013, Reference Number: 2013-10-053.

  • This is the IG report that triggered national news about inappropriate targeting of conservative groups that were applying for tax exemption.

Charting a Path Forward at the IRS: Initial Assessment and Plan of Action, Daniel Werfel, Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, June 24, 2013.

  • This is Werfel’s 30-day review and plan to correct the problems that exist within the IRS.

Political Activity and the Rights of Applicants for Tax-Exempt Status: Special Report to Congress, National Taxpayer Advocate, June 30, 2013.

  • This special report is attached to the National Taxpayer Advocate’s annual report to Congress. The Advocate reviewed the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s report dealing with inappropriately selecting conservative 501(c)(4) applicants for special review based on their names. The Advocate’s report provides recommendations for avoiding future problems.

Investigation Identifies No Evidence of Political Targeting of Tea Party Organizations Applying for Tax Exempt Status, Memorandum to Democratic Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from Democratic Staff, July 16, 2013.

  • The Democratic staff of a key House Committee provides the results of their investigation, which shows “no political motivation or White House involvement in this process.”

Religion and Public Life Project, Pew Research Center, June 26, 2012.

  • A study conducted by Pew on Religion and Politics found, “that there is widespread opposition to churches and other houses of worship endorsing one political candidate over another.” Among Americans overall, that figure has been in the 20s for a decade.

November 2010 BOLO IRS, In May 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) released an audit report stating that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to process tax-exemption applications.

  • Originally the TIGTA report stated that only conservative groups had been targeted in the November 2010 IRS BOLO. After further investigation it was discovered that progressive liberal groups were targeted as well.