IRS may still be targeting conservative groups

IRS may still be targeting conservative groups
Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner listens during testimony to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee May 22, 2013 in Washington, DC. The committee is investigating allegations that the IRS targeted conservative non-profit organizations with the words "tea party" and "constitution" in their names for additional scrutiny. Lerner, who headed the division that oversees exempt organizations, plans to assert her constitutional right not to answer questions. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Serious internal control flaws mean the IRS may still be unfairly selecting Americans for an audit “based on an organization’s religious, educational, political, or other views,” according to a pair of reports released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) today.

As GAO notes, certain deficiencies increase the risk of unfair audit selection based on a taxpayers First Amendment rights. As the report finds:

“The control deficiencies increase the risk of selecting organizations for audit in an unfair manner—for example, based on an organization’s religious, educational, political, or other views.”

GAO audited Wage & Investment (W&I) and Small Business/Self-employed (SB/SE) divisions in response to a request from House Ways & Means Committee members led by Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-Ill.).

These requests were made in response to IRS targeting conservative groups. This targeting resulted in just one conservative non-profit being granted tax exempt status over a three year period.

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