More lawsuits against the IRS are beginning to trickle in, this time from the Tea Party–spawned anti-voter-fraud group True the Vote, as well as CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
True the Vote, a Houston-based group that pushes for harsher voter restrictions at the state level, filed a suit in U.S. District Court in D.C. asking the court to grant the group tax-exempt status and to award damages for the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups.
The Washington Post reports:
Originally called [King Street Patriots]/True the Vote, the group filed in July 2010 for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) charity organization. In August 2011, the group changed its name to True the Vote Inc.; King Street Patriots has separately been seeking the 501(c)(4) status from the IRS. True the Vote has come under fire for intimidating African-American and other minority voters at the polls.
The group has not yet been granted tax-exempt status, which True the Vote argues is the result of its political beliefs. “Due to True the Vote’s perceived conservative policy positions and affiliation with Tea Party organizations, the IRS and IRS employees systematically targeted True the Vote’s application for additional review and scrutiny, whereby True the Vote was deliberately subjected to numerous unnecessary and burdensome requests for information about its operations and affiliations,” the lawsuit says. “Consequently, True the Vote was forced to furnish to the IRS information and documents wholly unnecessary to the determination of True the Vote’s tax-exempt status, which were repeatedly accessed and inspected by IRS agents.”
CREW’s lawsuit, also filed in D.C.’s District Court, asked the court “to compel the agency to initiate a rulemaking procedure to address serious conflicts between the Tax Code’s requirements for section 501(c)(4) groups and implementing IRS regulations,” the group said in a statement. “Current IRS regulations grant tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the Tax Code to groups ‘primarily engaged’ in promoting social welfare. The tax laws, however, require such groups to be ‘operated exclusively’ for social welfare purposes.”
The first lawsuit against the IRS was filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, who alleged that the agency violated the Privacy Act of 1974 and the First and Fifth Amendments with its alleged targeting of conservative groups.