Shelby: The Internal Revenue Service, the agency in charge of collecting taxes, has apologized for targeting conservative political groups. Yesterday, President Obama was asked about the scandal.
President: Obama: If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable. And it’s got to be fixed.
Shelby: Even though the IRS is an independent agency, Republican lawmakers have been calling on the president to personally condemn the IRS for singling out certain political groups applying for tax-exempt status. If an organization is tax exempt, it does not have to pay federal taxes. Groups like nonprofits, religious and political organizations can all apply for tax-exempt status if they meet certain requirements. But the IRS admits that it flagged political organizations affiliated with the conservative tea party movement which supports smaller government and lower taxes.
A report out later this week from the IRS inspector general’s office is expected to show that groups with the names “tea party” or “patriots” faced additional scrutiny when applying for tax-exempt status, as well as political action organizations involved in educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa says his committee will investigate.
Congressman Darrell Issa: There’s got to be accountability for people who were telling lies about it being done.
Shelby: Congressional Republicans now say they are working on new legislation that would make it a crime for IRS workers to discriminate based on political views.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.
- What is the idea behind tax exemptions?
- What nonprofit groups can you think of that are likely tax-exempt?