COMMITTEE on WAYS and MEANS

Chairman Dave Camp

Print this Page Press Releases

Sarah Swinehart (202) 226-4774

Timeline of Communications Between Ways and Means Committee and IRS

f t # e
Washington, May 15, 2013 | comments
March-April 2010
According to TIGTA, the IRS’s Determinations Unit “began searching for other requests for exemption involving the Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12 and IRC § 501(c)(4) applications involving political sounding names, e.g., “We the People” or “Take Back the Country.”

June 3, 2011
Chairman Camp sends letter to Commissioner Shulman inquiring about IRS targeting of taxpayers who donated money to conservative groups, as well as information regarding audits of 501(c)(4) organizations.

June 29, 2011
According to TIGTA, IRS Exempt Organization Division director Lois Lerner is apprised of the IRS’s discriminatory practices.

July 1, 2011
The IRS responds to Chairman Camp’s June 3 letter by issuing a directive to halt investigations pending further guidance. The IRS failed to provide any explanation or assurances to the Committee that targeting was not occurring.  

July 7, 2011
Then-Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steve Miller issues a directive citing “significant legal, administrative, and policy implications” for his decision that “all current examinations relating to the application of gift tax to contributions to I.R.C. § 510(c)(4) organizations should be closed.”

July 25, 2011
Then-Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steve Miller responds to Chairman Camp’s June 3 letter with supplementary information, yet fails to provide information regarding targeting of conservative groups.

October 6, 2011
Chairman Boustany sends letter to Commissioner Shulman requesting information regarding the tax-exempt sector.

November 18, 2011

The IRS responds to Chairman Boustany with some requested information but includes no mention of knowledge of targeting conservative groups.

December 16, 2011

Ways and Means Oversight staff met with IRS staff, including Lois Lerner. The IRS staff did not mention knowledge that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

March 1, 2012

Chairman Boustany sends a follow-up letter to Commissioner Shulman with additional questions about reports that “the IRS has been questioning new tax-exempt applicants, including grassroots political entities such as Tea Party groups.”

March 12, 2012

The IRS responds with no mention of knowledge of targeting conservative groups.

March 22, 2012

The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds its 2012 hearing on the tax return filing season and general IRS operations. Chairman Boustany asks then-IRS Commissioner Shulman about reports that the IRS has been targeting Tea Party groups. Shulman responds, “I can give you assurances…[t]here is absolutely no targeting.”

March 23, 2012

The IRS sends a supplementary response containing additional information, but again, makes no mention of knowledge of targeting conservative organizations.

April 23, 2012
Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Boustany and 61 other House Republicans sign a letter to Commissioner Shulman inquiring about reports that “numerous nonprofit civic organizations across the country have experienced extensive delays and received excessively burdensome information requests” when applying for tax-exempt status.

April 26, 2012

The IRS sends a second supplementary response but includes no information about its discriminatory practices.

May 3, 2012
After numerous responses from the IRS, Chairman Camp sends a letter to Commissioner Shulman seeking all 501(c)(4) applications from 2010 and 2011 in order to conduct an investigation into whether the IRS targeted conservative groups.

June 15, 2012
The IRS responds to the April 23 letter from Chairman Boustany and 61 other House Republicans, but includes no information about the IRS’s practices.

July 25, 2012

The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds a hearing on charitable organizations. In response to questions regarding reported IRS harassment of conservative groups, then-IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steve Miller tells the Subcommittee, “I am aware that some 200 501(c)(4) applications fell into this category [the determinations letter process]. We did group those organizations together to ensure consistency, to ensure quality.” Miller made no reference to the IRS’s discriminatory practices.

September 21, 2012
Chairman Camp writes a letter to Commissioner Shulman requesting a briefing for Ways and Means Committee staff regarding Steve Miller’s testimony at the July 25th Oversight Subcommittee Hearing.

Fall 2012

The IRS makes all 2010 and 2011 501(c)(4) applications available to Ways and Means Committee staff, pursuant to Chairman Camp’s May 3 request.

November 15, 2012
Ways and Means Oversight staff met with IRS staff, including Lois Lerner. The IRS staff did not mention knowledge that the IRS targeted conservative groups.

June 3, 2011-present
Beginning with Chairman Camp’s initial June 3, 2011 letter, Ways and Means Committee staff conducts an investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted conservative political groups and their donors. Throughout the entirety of the investigation, IRS officials make no effort to inform Ways and Means staff that the IRS had, in fact, targeted conservative groups.

Week of April 22, 2013
According to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the White House Counsel is notified of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.

May 10, 2013
At an American Bar Association function, Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division, publicly apologizes for the IRS’s discrimination against conservative organizations during.

###

f t # e