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

Legislators Lining Up Against Performance Tax, More Needed

Members of Congress continue to line up against any move toward a performance tax by signing their names to the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res.17/S.Con.Res.4).

Supreme Court Sets Date for Marriage Cases

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that on April 28 it will listen to oral arguments in four consolidated cases pivotal for the future of marriage in the United States.

FCC to Levy $325K Indecency Fine on Broadcaster

The FCC this week announced it will slap a Virginia television broadcaster with its maximum indecency penalty of $325,000 following that station’s airing of obscene material during an evening newscast.

Concern with Internet Order’s Message to World

In its unanimous Resolution last month against the FCC net neutrality order, the National Religious Broadcasters Board of Directors, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, similarly highlighted...

Senator Harry Reid to Retire in 2016

The top Democrat in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid, announced Friday morning that he will retire at the end of this session of Congress.

Saddleback Church Commemorates 35 Years of Ministry

Saddleback Church, founded by Pastor Rick and Kay Warren, celebrated 35 years of ministry influence and impact during a special community-wide service on Saturday, March 21, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

In Memoriam: Dr. Arthur D. Stamler

Dr. Arthur (Art) Donald Stamler, a pioneer in broadcasting, went home to be with Jesus on Saturday, January 31, following a brief illness. He was 81.

TCKF Launches Radio Show in the Austin, San Antonio Markets

The Coming King Foundation (TCKF), led by artist Max Greiner, Jr., recently launched The Cross at Kerrville, a new radio program on KTXW 1120 in Austin, TX, and KSLR 630 in San Antonio, TX.

Video Recordings from NRB15 Convention Now Viewable on YouTube

Did you miss a session at the NRB15 International Christian Media Convention held last month in Nashville, TN?

Facebook's Troubling Hate Speech Standards

This week Facebook unveiled updated “Community Standards” intended to clarify its reasoning for what content it blocks or removes from its platform.

More News