(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which represents dozens of organizations in a federal lawsuit challenging the IRS, said today that a new report out today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) citing that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken “significant actions to improve the processing of tax-exempt applications involving political intervention” – the ACLJ contends that the IRS “still remains institutionally incapable of self-correction.”
In a report made public today, TIGTA said the IRS had made significant improvements since its May 2013 report, which found that ineffective IRS management resulted in: 1) the use of inappropriate criteria to identify for review organizations applying for tax-exempt status based on names and policy positions instead of indications of political campaign intervention; 2) substantially delayed processing of certain applications, and, 3) the issuance of unnecessary information requests.
Despite today’s findings by TIGTA, the ACLJ contends the unlawful targeting scheme put in place against conservative and Tea Party groups is far from being resolved.
“To suggest that the unlawful IRS targeting scheme has somehow been resolved is not accurate,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “This report comes just hours after TIGTA said it found nearly 6,500 emails from former top IRS official Lois Lerner - who is at the center of this scandal. Thousands of new emails from Lerner that the IRS previously said did not exist. Who knows how many more documents are being withheld?”
Sekulow added: “Here's the bottom line: despite the new TIGTA report, the IRS still remains institutionally incapable of self-correction. No one has been held accountable. And the unconstitutional targeting continues, with one of our clients still waiting - after more than five years - for a determination on their application. We remain committed to getting the truth and hold accountable those responsible through our continuing work in Congress and through our federal legal challenge in which we represent dozens of groups who have been targeted by the IRS. It's clear the IRS would like this scandal to disappear. That's not going to happen. The American people deserve answers.”
In its federal lawsuit, the ACLJ originally represented 41 organizations in 22 states. Three of those organizations have now decided to end their involvement in the case because of the lengthy appeals process. Of the 38 groups remaining, 29 organizations received tax-exempt status after lengthy delays, 2 are still pending, and 7 withdrew applications because of frustration with the IRS process.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C.
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