TYLER, TX (KLTV) - East Texans gathered in front of the regional IRS office with signs reading "Abolish the IRS" and "Texans Deserve Better".
This protest comes after the recent report that IRS employees had inappropriately targeted conservative political groups, actions these East Texans said have destroyed their trust.
"The IRS has shown to be corrupt. If they are taking one particular group because of political beliefs and targeting just them to audit and harass, that's not American. That's not who we are. The power to tax is the power to destroy. So, we've got to make sure we don't have corruption at that level," said Tammy Blaire, who joined other East Texans in the protest.
This protest was one of dozens of demonstrations across the nation. Participants angry with the outcome of the inspector general's report that IRS employees had targeted conservative groups seeking tax exempt status.
"I think that you are very likely going to see people refusing to pay income tax and refusing to fill out their 1040s just because they are so extremely angry at the corrupt behavior of the federal government," said Adam Kirby, President of the UT Tyler Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. "They will come to the realization that the consequences of continuing to support and be compliant with this corrupt system are actually worse than the consequences associated with civil disobedience.
Many East Texans in attendance agree on one solution.
"Abolish the IRS. How about that? How about we go to a flat tax system that you don't have any loopholes, just send in your percentage and you're done," Blaire said.
"What matters is the American people are waking up to the fact that the IRS is a rogue agency, they do not add value to our community or to the economy. They are a tool of social control through the use of intimidation and fear to clamp down on politically inconvenient speech," added Kirby.
"Well, the way this economy and administration is going, we need to get together as a community, as a county and as a state and fight these federal intrusions on our privacy. If we don't do that, we 'aint got a chance," said participant Glen Shipley.
These East Texans say they are working to plan more protests. On Tuesday morning, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew called the targeting "unacceptable and inexcusable".
Lew reportedly told the Senate Banking Committee that he has also asked acting director Daniel Werfel to fix any flaws in management of the IRS to make sure there is no recurrence of the problems.