Texas Patriots waited years for decision
banded together in a class-action lawsuit against the IRS. “We will be watching the IRS closely to ensure that TPTP does in fact receive fair processing.”
Nearly 500 groups applying for taxexempt status from 2009 to 2013 were subjected to intrusive scrutiny by the IRS based on perceived political activity. Most of those groups came from the conservative side of the spectrum. Investigators said organizations with words such as “tea party” or “patriots” were automatically flagged.
Once singled out, groups faced intrusive questions about their political beliefs, their affiliations with fellow tea party organizations, how they came up with their names, and their members’ political activity and donation histories.
Of the groups targeted, the TPTP is the last one awaiting processing.
Applications for several other groups were processed late last year. One of them, the Tri-City Tea Party, won approval in April, and the Albuquerque Tea Party won approval this month. Albuquerque activists had been waiting more than seven years.
In the case of the TPTP, the sides had been arguing over the latest set of questions from the IRS — the third iteration — submitted late last year.
Under an agreement submitted to a federal court in Cincinnati this week, the TPTP will submit one final set of answers describing political candidates and educational speakers who have been invited to address the group.
The IRS agreed not to penalize the group for the words “tea party” in its name.