House Republicans: 10% of Tea Party Donors Were Audited by IRS
As many of us know, the chance of your tax return being audited by the Internal Revenue Service is about 1%. The odds go up if you’re a multimillionaire…and, apparently, way up if you donate to the Tea Party. House Republicans found that 10% of Tea Party donors have been audited by the IRS.
The IRS has already admitted to targeting Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny in the past, but insisted it wasn’t politically motivated, blaming “confusion.”
Still, Obama administration officials deny that the targeting was politically motivated, blaming confusion and a flood of applications from conservative groups after a 2010 Supreme Court ruling opened the door to broader political activity from outside interest groups…Republicans said 24 conservative groups were asked for their donor lists. The IRS initially told Congress that those lists were destroyed, but when they went through their files they discovered three lists that weren’t destroyed.
Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, asked the IRS to review the names on those lists to see whether any had been audited. The IRS reported back that 10 percent were audited – substantially higher than the average rate of 1 percent of average Americans who are audited each year.
I don’t think the IRS will be able to weasel their way out of this a second time. A 5% audit rate of Tea Party donors would raise eyebrows; 10% makes it highly likely there’s funny business going on. Far from being “confused,” it looks like the IRS has been using audits to harass political enemies, and now they’ve been caught red-handed.