IRS admits, apologizes for targeting right-wing groups in election run-up


Officials from the US Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday after confessing that the agency had targeted conservative political groups, putting them under extra scrutiny during the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election.

Organizations that used words including “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status were flagged. Some were asked for their list of financial donors, a flagrant violation of IRS policy, Lois Lerner, an IRS division head, told the Associated Press.

“That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate,” she said. “That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review. The IRS would like to apologize for that.”

Approximately 75 groups were targeted, although none had their tax-exempt status revoked, Lerner added. She reiterated that the scheme was started by low-level employees in Cincinnati, Ohio and that IRS higher-ups were not privy to what was happening at…

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