IRS Employees Screened for 'Progressive,' 'Israel' and 'Occupy,' Too

Monday, 24 Jun 2013 04:23 PM

 

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The IRS used the terms "progressive," "Israel" and "occupy" on internal documents that helped employees screen groups' applications for tax-exempt status, according to documents.

The disclosure adds a dimension to the controversy surrounding the Internal Revenue Service' scrutiny of groups' applications for tax exemptions. The agency revealed May 10 that it had given extra attention to tea party groups and other small-government advocates.

Now, documents obtained by Bloomberg News show that "progressive," "Israel" and "occupy" appeared on versions of the "be-on-the-lookout" lists used by employees in the office that reviewed tax-exempt applications in an effort to coordinate similar issues. Danny Werfel, the interim leader of the IRS, said Monday he was suspending the use of such lists.

It wasn't immediately clear how the terms were used.

Pro-Israel groups had been complaining of unfair scrutiny. Eight groups with "progress" or "progressive" in their names had appeared on a publicly available list of groups that had been delayed and later approved by the IRS.

Also today, Werfel released a report outlining his plans for restoring trust in the agency and reducing the backlog of tax-exempt applications.

 

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