NEW DETAILS FROM ABC
IRS Enemies List Started Three Years Ago Was Much More Extensive Than First Thought
The White House says it had no idea the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups.
THE PLOT THICKENS
ABC News has obtained a draft of a soon-to-be-released investigative report showing that the Internal Revenue Service began targeting conservative groups as far back as March of 2010 and that senior IRS officials in Washington have known about it for almost two years.
Last week, we learned that the IRS was targeting groups with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names, but it goes far beyond that. The draft report, conducted by the IRS internal watchdog, says the agency was tracking groups whose goals included, "limiting government" and "educating on the national debt, the Constitution and Bill of Rights" and who, "criticize how the country is being run."
FULL ACCOUNTING AT IRS
The targeting of conservatives by the IRS started earlier and was more extensive than the IRS acknowledged last week, according to a draft IRS inspector general report obtained by ABC News. The IRS began targeting “Tea Party or similar organizations” more than three years ago in March 2010. That was when the Cincinnati-based IRS unit responsible for overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12″ to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.
During this first phase, 10 Tea Party cases were identified. By April of 2010, 18 Tea Party organizations were targeted. By June 2011, the unit had flagged over 100 Tea Party-related applications and the criteria used to scrutinize organizations had grown considerably.
The report, done by the Inspector General for the IRS, also shows that senior IRS officials in Washington was aware of what was going on as early as August 4, 2011 when, according to the report, the IRS chief counsel held a meeting with the IRS’s Rulings and Agreements unit “so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.”
HOW THE IRS WASTES BILLIONS IN TAXPAYER FUNDS
IRS Issued More Than $11 Billion In Faulty Refunds: “The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $11 billion in faulty refunds through its Earned Income Tax Credit last year, according to an inspector general’s report released this week. Treasury Department Deputy Inspector General Michael McKenney found that the IRS has failed for the past two years to comply with a federal law requiring agencies to reduce payment errors to a rate of less than 10 percent. President Obama signed the statute in 2010.” (Josh Hicks, “IRS Paid Billions Of Dollars In Improper Refunds, Report Says,” The Washington Post, 4/24/13)
IRS Wastes Millions On Blackberrys And Aircards: “Everyone always wants the latest technology, but a government auditor said Tuesday that the IRS wasted millions of dollars on BlackBerrys and wireless modem aircards that employees don’t need or even use. In 2011 alone the tax service paid $1.1 million for nearly 14,000 aircards and 754 BlackBerrys that weren’t used for at least three straight months, and 45 of those aircards and 68 BlackBerrys were never used the entire year, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration said in a report.” (Stephen Dinan, “IRS tax fraud: Agency wastes taxpayer cash on Blackberrys and aircards, audit finds,” The Washington Times, 2/19/13)
IRS Overpaid Upwards Of $13 Billion In Tax Credits: “The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) overpaid between $11.6 billion and $13.6 billion in tax credits designed tohelp low-income families in fiscal 2012 , the Treasury Department announced in a report released Monday.” (Julian Hattem, “IRS overpaid up to $13.6B in low-income tax credits, report finds,” The Hill, 4/22/13)
IRS Video Production Unit Costs Taxpayers $4 Million A Year: “The Senate’s top tax-writer wants answers from the IRS about a ‘Star Trek’ spoof that the tax-collecting agency has now apologized for making. … Baucus also questioned why the IRS had a video production unit at all — especially at its reported $4 million a year price tag. The ‘Star Trek” parody and a separate takeoff on “Gilligan’s Island” cost around $60,000 in tandem, the IRS has said.” (Bernie Becker, “Baucus to IRS: How did the ‘Star Trek’ video happen? Who’s responsible?,” The Hill, 3/27/13)
“Lawmakers Probe Possible Cronyism Surrounding $500 Million In IRS Contracts.” “The House Oversight Committee is investigating whether a personal relationship between an Internal Revenue Service employee and the owner of a computer company produced a series of government contracts worth about $500 million.” (Henry C. Jackson, “Lawmakers Probe Possible Cronyism Surrounding $500 Million In IRS Contracts,”Associated Press, 2/21/13)
“Tax Cheats Get Millions In Medicaid Money.” “One in every 20 health providers getting taxpayer money from Medicaid is delinquent on their federal taxes, and in some cases the tax cheats are years behind in paying the IRS, according to a new audit by Congress’s investigators. The Government Accountability Office looked at about 7,000 providers in three large states who Medicaid reimbursed more than $6 billion in 2009 and found that they had nearly $800 million in unpaid federal taxes. … GAO said the IRS is usually allowed to deduct unpaid taxes from other government payments, but said the IRS does not believe Medicaid reimbursements for care qualify as federal payments. GAO said if IRS had used those tools, than it could have recovered up to $330 million of the money owed in 2009.” (Stephen Dinan, “GAO: Tax cheats get millions in Medicaid money,” TheWashington Times,8/2/12)
IRS Spends Millions On PR Help: “The Internal Revenue Service is offering up to $15 million for some professional public relations help. Racy Super Bowl commercials this is not. The IRS is currently evaluating pitches made last week from communications agencies to help publicize programs like the earned-income tax credit and small business retirement plans. … The one-year contract could be extended for four more years, with a total value of as much as $15 million, the IRS solicitation says. PR firm Porter Novelli has had the contract for four years, but it reached the $17.5 million limit, IRS spokesman Terry Lemons said.” (Kristina Peterson, “IRS Seeks Some PR Help,” The Wall Street Journal, 2/17/12)
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