On Wednesday, GOP Congressmen revealed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audited 10 percent of the conservative donors it had uncovered through improper or illegal discriminatory targeting as part of its political discrimination against conservative and Constitutional groups.
Ten percent is a far higher audit rate than that endured by the general population, a fact House Republicans used to demonstrate there’s still plenty of undisclosed information about the targeting scandal that certain IRS employees — and perhaps the Obama Administration — is holding back.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, who came on board in the wake of last year’s scandal, sat before a House Ways and Means hearing on Wednesday to address GOP leaders’ concerns that, under his leadership, whatever the IRS was doing to disadvantage conservatives in 2012 — when Barack Obama was seeking a second Presidential term — has stopped.
“The committee uncovered new information indicating that after groups provided the information to the IRS, nearly one in 10 donors were subject to audit… The abuse of discretion and audit selection must be identified and stopped,” Congressman Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.) told Koskinen.
“[The] IRS has long insisted that Americans should not worry about political targeting at your agency because the IRS has layers of internal protections to guard against it. But in the course of our investigation, however, we found that [former exempt organizations administrator] Lois Lerner acted in defiance of these internal protections.”
Koskinen stayed quiet on the subject of how the agency came to audit conservatives at such an extraordinary rate, but agreed that people’s political views shouldn’t play a role in how the IRS singles out taxpayers for scrutiny.
“Every taxpayer deserves the right to assume that they will be treated fairly no matter what their political beliefs, what organization they belong to, who they voted for in the last election,” he said, adding that a small number of conservative groups identified in the IRS scandal still have not been granted the nonprofit status they first sought in 2012.