Tea Party gets go ahead vs IRS
UPDATE 7/17/14: Federal Judge Susan Dlott refused to dismiss parts of the Tea Party's lawsuit Thursday against the Internal Revenue Service, meaning it can go ahead. Read about it here.
The timetable is unclear but U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott will decide if the NorCal Tea Party Patriots lawsuit filed against the IRS and 19 Cincinnati workers will go forward. A Motion to Dismiss hearing was held this week in federal court. Dlott said she will take the matter under submission.
The NorCal Tea Party is the lead plaintiff in the class-action suit. It seeks damages for "illegal and harassing behavior in the handling and processing of their applications for nonprofit status."
Extra scrutiny dates back to 2010
In May 2013, an Inspector General's audit found the IRS targeted the tea party and other conservative groups for special scrutiny dating back to 2010. That same month the tea party filed suit.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen came to Cincinnati in January to meet with employees. He told WVXU he wanted to improve the tax-exempt application process. Koskinen said people need to know they are going to be treated fairly no matter what their political beliefs.
Koskinen, in remarks to the national Press Club April 2, 2014, said this:
- We have accepted all nine of the recommendations from the Inspector General for Tax Administration
- There are six ongoing investigations (four by Congressional committees, one by the Justice Department and one by the IG)
- 250 IRS employees have spent over 100,000 hours working directly on complying with the investigations at a cost of more than $14 million
What role did Cincinnati IRS workers play?
It's still unclear whether Cincinnati IRS employees acted alone when delaying 501(c) (4) applications. The government is paying for Taft Stettinius & Hollister and Squire Sanders to represent the IRS workers.