Congressional Republicans are pursuing their efforts to discover the extent to which the White House may have requested tax information about its political opponents from the IRS, The Washington Times
Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan have demanded to see emails between the White House and the IRS. The IRS told the lawmakers to ask the White House, but on Feb. 17, White House lawyer W. Neil Eggleston told the lawmakers that the request was something the IRS "would be able to address."
First, however, it had to respond to other "document productions already in progress" before it could get to theirs, the Times said.
The IRS has been accused of targeting tea party groups, conservative donors, and of leaking confidential taxpayer information about the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), according to the Times. In 2012, a gay activist group posted
the names of NOM donors that likely came from inside the IRS.
Conservative groups suspect that the White House may have obtained information that led an Obama administration official to assert in 2010 that Charles and David Koch paid no corporate income taxes, according to the Times.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reported in December that a substantial portion, at least, of Koch companies' profits between 2009 and 2013 may have been channeled through subsidiaries in Luxembourg to reduce the firm's tax burden — the subsidiaries paid tax rates of less than 1 percent
. A spokesman for Koch companies said that the business paid its taxes "in accordance with applicable laws."
On March 4, Hatch and Ryan again contacted the IRS
: "In light of the White House counsel's refusal to comply with our request, we ask that you provide the documents — originally requested in April of last year — without delay," the Times reported.
The two chairmen, as well as the White House, may lawfully access confidential IRS
tax information. White House requests need presidential authorization and must be reported to the Joint Committee on Taxation of Congress.
Meanwhile, the IRS inspector general's office is continuing to search for emails between former agency official Lois Lerner and the White House relating to the targeting of groups opposed to Obama administration policies.
The White House has said it could find no emails from Lerner for the same two-year period that the IRS said it was unable to find her emails in its system, The Hill
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