Chief: Tea party groups not po­lit­i­cal tar­gets

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics -

The head of the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice has told Congress his agency isn’t deny­ing tax-ex­empt sta­tus to tea party groups be­cause of their po­lit­i­cal views.

Sev­eral of the con­ser­va­tive groups have ac­cused the agency of frus­trat­ing their at­tempts to be­come tax ex­empt by send­ing them lengthy, in­tru­sive ques­tion­naires.

But IRS chief Dou­glas H. Shul­man told mem­bers of a House panel that his agency prides it­self on be­ing non­po­lit­i­cal. He says the an­swers the IRS is seek­ing are typ­i­cal of the ques­tions that it asks when de­ter­min­ing whether a group is en­ti­tled to be tax ex­empt.

Af­ter the Ways and Means Com­mit­tee hear­ing, Re­pub­li­can Rep. Charles W. Bous­tany Jr. of Louisiana told re­porters he was dis­sat­is­fied with Mr. Shul­man’s re­sponse, say­ing the groups think their First Amend­ment rights are be­ing vi­o­lated.

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