IRS official in D.C. reportedly says she scrutinized Tea Party applications

If true, this would contradict the agency's contention that the practice was limited to one office in Ohio

By Jillian Rayfield

Published June 17, 2013 12:39PM (EDT)

  (<a href="">Theresa Martinez</a> / <a href=""></a>)
(Theresa Martinez /

An IRS official in Washington, D.C., reportedly said that she scrutinized applications by Tea Party groups for tax-exempt status, which, if true, would contradict the agency's claim that the practice was limited to the Cincinnati office.

According to the Associated Press, Holly Paz told investigators from the House Oversight Committee that she reviewed 20-30 cases, though she did not connect the practice to top officials in the agency or to the Obama administration.

From the AP:

Instead, Paz described an agency in which IRS supervisors in Washington worked closely with agents in the field but didn't fully understand what those agents were doing. Paz said agents in Cincinnati openly talked about handling "tea party" cases, but she thought the term was merely shorthand for all applications from groups that were politically active — conservative and liberal.

Paz said dozens of tea party applications sat untouched for more than a year while field agents waited for guidance from Washington on how to handle them. At the time, she said, Washington officials thought the agents in Cincinnati were processing the cases.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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