20:53 GMT +311 December 2019
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    This April 13, 2014 file photo shows the headquarters of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in Washington.

    Is IRS Still Targeting Americans Based on Politics and Religion?

    © AP Photo / J. David Ake, File
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    The Government Accountability Office has found that due to severe flaws in the auditing selection process, the Internal Revenue Service is free to target Americans based on their political views or religion.

    The House Ways and Means Committee had requested a series of investigations over the controversial targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups, the Blaze reported. Following the scandal, the Justice Department declined to prosecute IRS officials.

    “The control deficiencies increase the risk of selecting organizations for audit in an unfair manner — for example, based on an organization’s religious, educational, political, or other views,” said one of a pair of GAO investigations of the IRS released Wednesday.

    Right-wing members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have called for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to be impeached over his refusal to provide the committee with requested documents regarding the targeting.

    “In December, Congress passed into law regulations to ensure that the IRS can no longer target American taxpayers for their political beliefs,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said. “GAO has now exposed serious weaknesses in the IRS’s auditing process and confirmed that Americans remain at risk of political targeting. Ways and Means members will hold the IRS accountable for quickly implementing GAO’s recommendations and finally treating all American taxpayers fairly.”

    The first investigation found that the IRS Wage and Investment Unit did not consistently document the ways in which they selected cases for audits, and the second found that the IRS Small Business/Self Employed Unit was inconsistent in their selection procedures.

    “SB/SE has control procedures for safeguarding data and segregating duties across the overall selection process, among others, but it has not implemented other key internal controls,” the GAO report said. “The lack of strong control procedures increases the risk that the audit program’s mission of fair and equitable application of the tax laws will not be achieved.”


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    Government Accountability Office, House Ways and Means Committee, Tea Party, IRS
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