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Template:IRS targeting

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On May 10, 2013, news broke that various branches of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had specifically targeted conservative groups' applications for tax-exempt status. This began during the tea party surge in 2010. The agency was separating tax-exempt applications by searching for political terms such as "tea party" and "patriot." In June 2011, an IRS official was briefed on these transgressions and asked that this practice end. The flagging continued, however, when the criteria was changed in January 2012 to look out for groups educating on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.[1]

The targeting included allegations that tea party groups were forced to provide information not asked of other tax exempt groups. Examples of this included requests for donor information, Facebook posts, resumes and political intentions of group officials and connections to other groups.[2][3]

On May 16, IRS Commissioner Steven Miller announced his resignation. He still testified at the hearings the next day.[4]

As a result of this scandal, Republicans and many Democratic members of Congress, including {{{name}}}, publicly called for a deeper investigation into these matters. The House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on May 17 during which it was disclosed that the Obama administration was made aware of the targeting on June 4, 2012.[5]

On May 20, Senators Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch sent a written inquiry regarding the process for how the agency reviewed applications for tax exempt status. The letter also requested any correspondence between White House officials and the IRS mentioning 501(c) organizations.[6]

During the May 22 House committee hearing on the issue, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations office, declined to answer questions citing her Fifth Amendment right.[7] The next day, May 23, Lerner was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation after Senators John McCain and Carl Levin called on IRS officials to place her on suspension.[8] Lerner retired on September 23, 2013.[9]