A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Holder orders criminal investigation of IRS

US Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday that the Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [official websites] unfairly scrutinized tax-exemptions for conservative groups. The agency initially singled out groups with applications containing the names "Tea Party" or "Patriots," but expanded to target groups that promoted Constitutionalism. The practice of subjecting conservative groups to extra scrutiny went on for 18 months. The Treasury Inspector General's report [text, PDF] suggests that poor management led to "insufficient oversight" in the review of hundreds of advocacy groups. The report states that "the criteria developed by the Determinations Unit gives the appearance that the IRS is not impartial in conducting its mission."

The IRS apologized [Reuters report] last Friday for what they called "inappropriate" scrutiny. At a White House news conference the following Monday, US President Barack Obama [official website] called [press brief] the IRS actions "outrageous," stating that the agency must operate with "absolute integrity."

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.