House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting information regarding the agency’s practice and policies when reviewing an organization’s application for tax-exempt status, specifically when the organization expresses support for the State of Israel. This letter is another part of the Committee’s aggressive oversight to hold the IRS accountable to the American taxpayer.
Despite the IRS’s assurances that it has ceased its targeting of people based on their political or ideological beliefs, Chairmen Brady and Roskam are concerned about recent reports suggesting the Obama Administration has directed the agency to discriminate against organizations supporting the State of Israel. These reports are especially concerning in light of the IRS’s previous practice of giving special scrutiny to pro-Israel applications for tax-exempt status. The Chairmen expressed their displeasure with the IRS’s discriminatory actions, writing:
“It is distressing that the United States government subjected Americans to discriminatory treatment because of their political and religious beliefs. It is more distressing that it took seven years for one such group to get fair treatment by the IRS, even as the IRS told Congress that it no longer discriminated against such groups. And perhaps most alarmingly, recent press accounts suggest that even after all of this history, the IRS might even be pursuing new discriminatory policies … Despite the IRS’s claim to Congress that it stopped political targeting in 2013, the IRS and Administration’s actions over the past seven years lend credibility to these reports.”
The Chairmen request that the IRS respond with its tax-exempt review policies and procedures by January 11, 2017.
CLICK HERE to read the full letter.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Ways and Means IRS accountability agenda.
The IRS discriminated against conservative organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status based on their viewpoints by subjecting them to additional scrutiny. The IRS also gave unwarranted scrutiny to organizations that support the State of Israel.
One such organization, Z Street, applied for tax-exempt status in 2009 and was only granted its tax exemption on October 22, 2016, after seven years of waiting.