Officials at the Internal Revenue Service ignored the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups for years at a time, bringing the growth of new Tea Party nonprofits to a standstill in the run-up to President Obama’s re-election.
For example, the IRS approved just one conservative group for tax-exempt status between Feb. 2009 and May 2012, according to Americans for Tax Reform.
More evidence of the stonewalling emerged in a 142-page reportreleased last week by the Senate Finance Committee. The report revealed the details of a high-profile congressional investigation into allegations that the IRS had targeted conservative groups. …
Ronald Bell, an incoming IRS official, was given vague instructions from a superior upon his arrival in the tax-exempt unit, the report said.
Bell “interpreted this to mean that he should perform no work on the Tea Party applications” until he was given further instructions.
That meant no applications from Tea Party groups were processed between October 2010 and November 2011. Instead, whenever Bell received one from a Tea Party group, he “placed the application in a filing cabinet and returned to his work,” the report said.