Conservative groups 'harassed' by IRS

Published: May. 15, 2013 at 10:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2013 at 6:13 PM CDT
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CANTON, TX (KLTV) - Wednesday evening, President Obama announced the acting IRS commissioner has resigned.

Steven Miller submitted his resignation to the United States Secretary of the Treasury after an audit from the inspector general showed that the IRS targeted conservative groups that were applying for tax exempt status.

An audit released by the Treasury Inspector General found that, "many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary and burdensome questions."

That finding is no surprise to Canton Tea Party organizer Bob Hall. Hall's group opted not to even apply for tax exempt status.

"We did so because of the horror stories we've heard from other groups that tried to incorporate as a non-profit. The questions that they were being asked... we felt went way beyond anything that would be appropriate," says Hall.

One of those groups is the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party in Dallas-Ft. Worth. Hall disclosed an email from tea party organizers describing what that specific tea party was asked to provide the IRS.

The list included:

  • a hard copy of all the pages on their website
  • all of their organization's Twitter and Facebook posts
  • board member's resumes
  • copies of all flyers ever printed and handed out
  • a list of the items the organization purchased, where and much they paid
  • a volunteer roster
  • all organization emails
  • a list of candidates the group had discussed at any point in time

"It was difficult enough to get people together to express their feelings. We knew if we told them we were going to give their name, address, number of children [they] have, what house [they] live in, telephone number, Facebook address, email address, Twitter address... all that information to the government... people would have disappeared. People would have stopped coming. I would have stopped going,"  says Hall.

He says requiring citizens to hand over that all of that information in an abuse of power. Now he's waiting to see who is responsible for the orders.

"I think when they find the trail and they follow the thread, it will go all the way to the White House," says Hall.

Attorney General Greg Abbott is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS harassment. Abbott says any Texas organizations that believe they were targeted should contact his office. Read statements from Representative Louie Gohmert and Senator John Cornyn about the IRS allegations here.

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