Richard Nixon ordered the IRS to conduct tax audits of those on his infamous “Enemies List.” Now, a spate of investigations and leaks coming out of President Obama’s IRS raises concerns that this administration may also be using the power of the nation’s most feared agency to silence its political opponents.
Today, more than six dozen grassroots citizens groups seeking to gain 501(c)(4)—and in some cases 501(c)(3)--tax status today find themselves facing unexpectedly invasive investigations and onerous procedural hurdles. All these groups have received non-profit recognition at the state level. Yet their requests for IRS recognition have been left in bureaucratic limbo for months—in some cases, for more than two years.
Now they are being told to complete long and tortuous questionnaires seeking proprietary, irrelevant and sensitive information such as names and addresses of donors, as well as detailed descriptions of every event the group had held in the past year and transcripts of the remarks of all speakers.