GOP Senators Call on IRS to Explain Tea Party Treatment

Twelve GOP Senators have sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman demanding answers to concerns that the agency may be targeting the Kentucky 9/12 Project specifically, in addition to other conservative-leaning groups.

“It is critical that the public have confidence that federal tax compliance efforts are pursued in a fair, even-handed, and transparent manner – without regard to politics of any kind,” wrote the Senators.

They continued, “It is imperative that organizations applying for tax-exempt status are able to rely on a consistent and foreseeable review structure from the IRS. Any significant changes to the IRS review process should be implemented only after appropriate notice and opportunity for comment from the public and affected parties.”

The move was pushed by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, joined by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), John Cornyn (Texas), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

The Blaze reported in February that the Kentucky 9/12 group filed for non-profit status back in December of 2010. They finally heard back from the IRS on Valentines Day of this year. (A mere 14 months after they sent in an initial request.) Their return message was not in regards to any issues or concerns brought up in there original application, rather a letter requesting detailed documentation to answer 30 questions with sub-bullets (88 total separate inquiries) and only a two-week period to comply.

The Kentucky 9/12 Project said in a statement that what was even more alarming than the egregious request, was that their group was joined by close to 80 liberty groups from around the country that the IRS has targeted and is attempting to regulate out of existence.

The Senators closed their email with the request that Commissioner Shulman ”hold further IRS-initiated demands for information from 501(c)(4) applicants beyond the extensive information already required of all applicants (in Form 1024 and Schedule B), until the agency provides a response demonstrating these recent IRS requests are consistent with precedent and supported by law.”

“We know why these request are being made.  The Obama administration is very aware of our voices and clearly desires to silence them,” Kentucky 9/12 Project Director Eric Wilson said in a statement.

“The federal government, through the IRS, is trying to intimidate citizens from freely assembling, from exercising free speech, and from exercising 1st Amendment Rights. Government intimidation and tyranny must not only fail but we need a full investigation to who initiated these attacks on law abiding citizens.”