HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > IRS Again in Spotlight

IRS Again in Spotlight

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) found itself in the spotlight again this week as two Congressional Committees brought in top IRS officials before them for questioning spurred by a Treasury Inspector General’s report of “inappropriate” targeting of conservative organizations by the tax agency. Headlining these hearings was news that Congressional investigators had received testimony connecting the IRS Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, DC, with the targeting efforts. 

“As a part of this ongoing investigation, the Committees have learned that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, DC, has been closely involved in some of the applications. Its involvement and demands for information about political activity during the 2010 election cycle appears to have caused systematic delays in the processing of Tea Party applications,” stated House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Ways and Means Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) in a letter to Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel. These Congressmen highlighted that investigators had found evidence that Lois Lerner, who earlier pleaded the 5th Amendment before Chairman Issa’s committee, had steered the tax exempt applications of interest to the Chief Counsel’s office, among others in the agency, and they noted that the Chief Counsel is one of two positions at the IRS appointed by the White House. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee pressed at length on this subject in a hearing Thursday.

Additionally, the House Small Business Committee entered the fray. In a hearing at which Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel was the sole witness, Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) declared, “In May, the Inspector General for Tax Administration issued a report that found the IRS had used inappropriate criteria to target certain conservative organizations that sought non-profit status. Since that time, Congressional investigations have raised additional questions about the IRS’s improper targeting, and whether the IRS may have also improperly targeted the tax returns of small businesses for added scrutiny or audit. We must ensure that all taxpayers, including small businesses, are treated fairly.” In the hearing, Acting Commissioner Werfel pointed out the differences in tax-exempt and small business enforcement and asserted, “[W]e don’t have any particular evidence at this time that the objective and analytical criteria that we put in place to review small businesses for potential increased scrutiny has any fundamental flaw that would lead one to the conclusion that there’s unfair targeting.”

  • Find NRB’s letter to Congressional leaders following news of IRS targeting in defense of ministries’ First Amendment rights, and a related NRB Board of Directors’ Resolution.
  • Find full coverage of the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing and the House Small Business Committee hearing.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

 

Published: July 19, 2013

Latest News

Registration for Proclaim 16 Is Now Open! Register Early and Save!

Registration for the world’s largest annual gathering of Christian media and ministry professionals is now open, and if you register between now and November 1, you can receive an Early Bird discounted rate.

NRB President Calls on Members to Urge Congress to #DefundPP

With Congress set to return from recess on September 8, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson is encouraging the association’s members to contact their representatives about defunding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and to utilize their media platforms to urge others to do the same.

Salvation Army Eastern Territory Publishes New Magazine: 'SAConnects'

The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territorial Headquarters has released SAConnects, a new multimedia magazine that is replacing Good News!, Priority!, and Buenas Noticias!

Exhibit Space at Proclaim 16 Available Now! Reserve Yours Today!

Want to place your company or ministry in front of thousands of decision-makers in an ever-growing industry? Then consider exhibiting at Proclaim 16, the NRB International Christian Media Convention.

Dedication of The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden Set for Sept. 13

On September 13, The Coming King Foundation (TCKF) will dedicate its evangelistic Sculpture Prayer Garden in Kerrville, TX, which has been 14 years in the making.

Net Neutrality Court Battle Advances

The legal battle to halt the FCC’s most recent “Open Internet” order advanced in recent weeks with the filing of briefs before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

ERLC President Russell Moore Releases New Book: 'Onward'

Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, the latest book by ERLC President Dr. Russell Moore, was released on August 1.

Committee Expands Planned Parenthood Investigation

Leaders of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee recently announced an expansion of their investigation spurred by undercover videos that show key Planned Parenthood officials describing and negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

‘Mission: Mongolia’ Campaign Far Exceeds Goal to Fund Three New FM Stations

NRB member organizations Reach Beyond, Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), and Moody Global Ministries combined their efforts last month and raised $311,519 to fund equipment to start radio stations in three major cities in Mongolia that do not have access to Christian radio.

Guidelines International Ministries Plants Legacy Radio Station in the Balkans

Guidelines International Ministries has planted a Legacy Radio Station in the Balkans, partnering with Media 7 Albania.

More News