IRS audits Tea Party donors at much higher rate than general population

IRS audits Tea Party donors at much higher rate than general population

Despite assurances to the contrary, the IRS didn’t destroy all of the donor lists scooped up in its tea party targeting — and a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans, House Republicans revealed Wednesday.

Republicans argue that the Internal Revenue Service still hasn’t come clean about the full extent of its targeting, which swept up dozens of conservative groups.

“The committee uncovered new information indicating that after groups provided the information to the IRS, nearly one in 10 donors were subject to audit,” Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee’s oversight panel, told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at a hearing Wednesday. …

Republicans said 24 conservative groups were asked for their donor lists. The IRS initially told Congress that those lists were destroyed, but when they went through their files they discovered three lists that weren’t destroyed.

Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked the IRS to review the names on those lists to see whether any had been audited. The IRS reported back that 10 percent were audited — substantially higher than the average rate of 1 percent of average Americans who are audited each year.

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