It has long been established that IRS officials under the Obama Administration “orchestrated a complex scheme to dump conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants into a bureaucratic ‘black hole.’” Hundreds of documents have been uncovered in recent years that clearly establish that “top IRS officials in Washington, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew that the agency was specifically targeting ‘Tea Party’ and other conservative organizations.”
The ACLJ is pleased to announce that after a long, arduous legal battle our client, the Albuquerque Tea Party, has finally received their tax-exempt status – nearly eight years after originally filing their 501(c)(4) application. This is a major victory for free speech.
The widespread and coordinated attacks against conservative groups like the Albuquerque Tea Party began in early 2010. This December would have marked eight years since the IRS cashed the application check from our client. The IRS literally took their money and then ignored their application requesting tax-exempt status for eight long years. This is outrageous. No organization should ever be forced to wait that long for a determination.
While the Obama Administration contended that nothing happened and former President Obama dismissed the issue as a “phony scandal,” this issue, like many others, is sitting at the very top of a long list of controversies that are still alive and well after the Obama Administration’s departure.
As you may remember, the IRS constructed a special group to send all “applications associated with the Tea Party” to called “Group 7822.” It was apparently designed as a “special team” developed to snare targeted organizations’ tax exemption applications in order to severely limit the impact of their advocacy on the 2012 elections. The IRS was able to protect its politically targeted scheme by hiding its operations and activity behind the hundreds of layers of the bureaucracy festering within the IRS and with the cooperation of other government agencies.
Many of these groups, including our client Albuquerque Tea Party, were placed on a “Be-on-the-Lookout” (BOLO) list if their name looked like they were a Tea Party affiliated group. Albuquerque was then sent a letter, not from a low “level agent in Cincinnati,” but from an official at the Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C., stating that their file was under review. To date, seven and a half years later, no explanation was ever given to our client as to why Washington had their file or as to why its review of their file took this long.
To be clear, the IRS did not want to approve their application. Last year, the IRS proposed a denial of their application. We fought their denial, and we won. This result was long overdue. The targeting, the delay, and this type of unconstitutional discrimination should have never happened.
As we continue to achieve victory after victory in our battle against the IRS and corrupt overreaching bureaucracies, we will not stop fighting for justice. Even after receiving their tax-exempt status, each of our clients will have their day in court. Justice will be served.
Since 2013, the ACLJ has represented more than 41 conservative and pro-life groups from 22 states across the country in our lawsuits against the IRS. Today, we represent 38 groups in federal court seeking to hold the IRS and Obama Administration officials accountable.
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