October 05,2017

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Wyden Applauds Treasury Watchdog Report Clearing IRS of Partisan Bias

Analysis supports findings from Finance Committee’s 2015 bipartisan report on political targeting

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's (TIGTA) report concluding that the IRS did not single out conservative organizations when reviewing 501(c)(4) applications. This follows TIGTA’s 2013 report that only analyzed conservative groups when determining whether the IRS was using political bias in their calculations.

“Led by a Republican-appointed Inspector General, this investigation into IRS designation practices confirms the findings of our bipartisan Finance Committee investigation that there was no political targeting of non-profits,” said Wyden. “While handled poorly, groups on both sides of the political spectrum were treated the same in their efforts to secure tax-exempt status.  There was no evidence of political bias or interference. After years of baseless claims and false accusations it is my hope Republicans will finally put an end to this witch hunt and admit that their attacks on the IRS were nothing but political grandstanding on behalf of special interests at the expense of American taxpayers.”

In 2015, the Senate Finance Committee issued a bipartisan report on the IRS’ handling of 501(c)(4) applications. The report found no evidence of a directive issued to the IRS to use political bias when determining tax-exempt statuses for non-profit organizations. Today’s report showed that over 100 liberal groups received heightened scrutiny from the IRS, including delays and unnecessary questioning while seeking tax-exempt designations. Prior to this report, TIGTA had only focused on the tax-exempt designation of conservative groups. Both TIGTA reports combined support the findings of the Finance Committee’s 2015 bipartisan report and provide a holistic view for how IRS was processing applications for tax-exempt status.

Ranking Member Wyden’s speech on the 2015 Senate Finance Committee report proving IRS was not targeting political groups can be found here.