IRS: Top official first told of targeting in 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven T. Miller failed to tell Congress that tea party groups were being inappropriately targeted, even after he had been briefed on the matter.
The IRS said Monday that Miller was first informed on May, 3, 2012, that applications for tax-exempt status by tea party groups were inappropriately singled out for extra, sometimes burdensome scrutiny.
On June 15, 2012, Miller wrote a member of Congress to explain the process of reviewing applications for tax-exempt status without mentioning the controversy.
Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., had raised concerns with the IRS about complaints that tea party groups were being harassed. Boustany specifically mentioned tea party groups in his inquiry.
But Miller gave a generic response. He said that when the IRS saw an increase in applications from groups that were involved in political activity, the agency "took steps to coordinate the handling of the case to ensure consistency."
He added that agents worked with tax law experts "to develop approaches and materials that could be helpful to the agents working the cases."