Dozens of applications for tax-exempt status from tea party-affiliated and other conservative groups are still pending or have been withdrawn, three months after the IRS targeting scandal was disclosed.
At least 56 applications were still outstanding at the end of July, despite multiple hearings before Congress and the appointment of a new IRS acting director, according to the Washington Times.
"I was really hopeful that once attention was given to the abuse that was going on that something would be done about it," Diane Belsom, president of the Laurens County Tea Party in South Carolina, told the newspaper.
Belsom filed her group's application for tax-exempt status in the summer of 2010.
"To date, we still have not been approved, and there are other groups that are pending as well," she said. "There do not seem to be any consequences for anyone involved in the IRS for what they have done. It kind of seems like things are getting swept under the rug."
As of July 29, the IRS reportedly had approved just 48 of the 104 applications from groups that had the words "conservative," "tea party," "patriots," or "9/11" attached to their names. They were asked an average of nearly 15 questions by IRS agents.
At the same time, all seven of the applications from groups that had "progressive" in their names and had fewer than five questions asked of them by IRS officials, were approved, the newspaper reported.
The IRS has not provided a more detailed breakdown of the pending cases. But congressional investigators are reportedly pursuing more information about why so many applications are still pending.
The agency, however, denied again on Tuesday that targeting of conservative groups was still going on.
"The IRS has taken decisive action to eliminate the use of inappropriate political labels in screening tax-exempt status applications," the agency said in a statement.
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