IRS

On the heels of a years-long controversy over its targeting of mostly tea-party and Christian groups with what critics have described as harassment, the Internal Revenue Service now has come up with a new plan for those nonprofits – have them collect donors’ Social Security Numbers.

The federal agency still is recovering from the outrage it generated when over the course of the last presidential election cycle it took a number of actions against conservative and tea-party organizations wanting to register so they could operate.

Among its demands was for the subject of group members’ prayers. And another was that members were supposed to promise not to oppose Planned Parenthood. And dozens of groups saw their applications delayed, sometimes for extended periods. Several lawsuits have developed as a result.

On Monday Fox News reported that the Obama administration now wants nonprofits to report the Social Security Numbers of those who donate $250 or more in a year.

The plan would be to target groups that are 501(c)3 organizations, a category that includes churches and religious or charitable organizations.

At this point, it’s a proposal.

But opposition is surging.

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“It’s the No. 1 regulation that people are commenting upon,” attorney Cleta Mitchell told Fox. She suggested the IRS simply can’t be trusted and the change would destroy the ability of charitable groups to raise funds, since people wouldn’t want to be identified by their Social Security Number to the IRS.

“It would have a dramatic effect on donors’ decisions on whether or not to contribute,” she warned. “You’d see a lot of $249.99 contributions…”

Rep. Peter Roskam, an Illinois Republican, also called the issue a “big yellow light.”

The IRS explained it proposed the idea as an option since some taxpayers being audited lost their donation records and they said the charities having a record would help them.

Mitchell represents the TRUE the VOTE group, which sued over the previous IRS attacks, which were confirmed by the federal agency in statements in 2013.

It said from April 2010 to about April 2012 IRS agents “targeted” tea-party and other grouips.

The 2013 revelation resulted in the firing of an IRS commissioner and probes by the Justice Department, Congress and others.

But no one was charged criminally.

It was just weeks ago that WND reported on the end of the Justice Department’s review of the actions by the IRS manager who headed that division during the targeting program.

Federal investigators said they were closing their investigation of former IRS official Lois Lerner and would not be filing any charges, chalking up the scandal instead to mismanagement.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik sent a letter for House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and ranking Democrat John Conyers. It stated:

“Our investigation uncovered substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia, leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted then based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime.

“We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other in appropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution. We found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of tax-exempt applications or IRS leadership attempted to obstruct justice.

“Based on the evidence developed in this investigation and the recommendation of experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the Department, we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges.”

True the Vote is one group that endured years of IRS harassment over its application for tax-exempt status. Its president, Catherine Englebrecht, was disgusted but not surprised by the Justice Department’s announcement.

“This is a lawless administration,” she said in an interview with WND and Radio America. “They write the rules and then play by those if they choose to follow. It is certainly not a surprise at all that they’ve chosen to try to wipe the slate clean of the IRS scandal, as they have so many other scandals. They don’t look to police themselves. They’re not interested in the better interests of their fellow countrymen. They’re interested in the survival of their party.”

According to Englebrecht, the refusal to prosecute is not only a slap in the face to her group and many others but to American justice at large.

“Justice in their hands is a mockery,” she said. “This is an arrogant and corrupt administration that holds no justice for the American people. It is my great hope and prayer that the American people will reassert themselves, through their vote, to take back the reins of this country.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with True the Vote President Catherine Englebrecht:

She suggested the scandal is far from over.

True the Vote is taking the IRS to court, but suffered an early setback when a federal judge ruled True the Vote did get approved as a tax-exempt organization, and getting to the bottom of the controversy would be impossible since Lerner’s emails had been destroyed. Since then, many emails have been recovered, and Englebrecht hopes that fact will reinvigorate her legal options.

“That gave us an avenue for appeal,” she said. “We are anxiously awaiting being heard by the court, hopefully in the first few months of 2016.”

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

 

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