The US Internal Revenue Service singled out for scrutiny groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names as well as nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.
The IRS focused on groups who applied for tax-exempt status and who were focusing on “criticizing how the country was being run” and those that were involved in educating Americans “on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
Part of the report is dedicated to “social welfare” groups that draw extra attention since the Supreme Court ruled a decision allowing corporations and labor unions to raise and spend unlimited sums on elections as well as register for tax-exempt status.
Since the ruling came out, the number of political groups applying for tax-exempt status doubled. Out of the 298 groups selected for special scrutiny, 72 had “tea party” in their title, 13 had “patriot” and 11 had “9/12.”
The groups that applied for tax-exempt status and have been involved in political activity or a social activity have opened themselves up to scrutiny by the IRS. But at the moment, there are no proper criteria or standards of what should be recognized as political activity.
The groups were asked to supply information on their relationship with current candidates and elected officials as well as future candidates, along with detailed information about its contributors and members.