The U.S. Internal Revenue Service used the terms “progressive,” “Israel” and “occupy” on internal documents that helped agency employees screen groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, according to documents.
The disclosure adds a dimension to the controversy surrounding IRS scrutiny of applications for tax exemptions. The agency revealed last month that it had given extra attention to Tea Party groups and other small-government advocates in a controversy that has eroded trust in the IRS.
Now, documents obtained by Bloomberg News show that “progressive,” “Israel” and “occupy” appeared on versions of “be-on-the-lookout” lists used by employees in the office that reviewed tax-exempt applications in an effort to coordinate similar issues.
Danny Werfel, the interim leader of the IRS, said today that he was suspending the use of such lists, which were still used as recently as last month.
It wasn’t immediately clear when the terms appeared, how they were used or why their existence wasn’t disclosed earlier. Congressional Republicans have pointed to the use of “Tea Party” on the list. The IRS has apologized for using inappropriate criteria such as “Tea Party” to flag small-government organizations, saying the practice was employed solely because of the groups’ names and not due to any political motivation.
Read more at BLOOMBERG NEWS.