The Corner

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Dear Albuquerque Tea Party, From the IRS in Washington


Andrew, the letter that Jay Sekulow (Jay is our ACLJ Chief Counsel, and my boss) brandished on Megyn Kelly’s show can be read here. It’s from an attorney, a “Tax Law Specialist” in “Exempt Organizations Technical Group 1″ in Washington to the Albuquerque Tea Party, and it’s notable for a number of reasons.

First, the letter is not only from Washington — news all by itself — but also is dated last month. This issue is not going away. In spite of an inspector-general investigation, the IRS was still pursuing its intrusive questioning of conservative groups.

Second, the attorney informs the tea-party group that she has made a recommendation regarding the group’s application, but she won’t tell the group what the recommendation is. In fact, she goes out of her way to note that it’s not their “policy” to discuss initial recommendations. In other words, the IRS demands everything from you, but gives you, well, nothing. It reminds me of a memorable movie line.

Third, the attorney even refuses to provide a timetable for a decision. To understand how egregious that is, consider that this group’s application dates back to 2011, the group provided information in response to IRS questions in January 2012, and this April 2013 letter was the first IRS response, and we had to send our own letter of inquiry to trigger even this unsatisfactory answer. To compound this unresponsiveness by withholding even an estimated time for a decision is astounding.

At the ACLJ we have ten clients still waiting for determinations. Yesterday we sent a demand letter on their behalf giving the IRS until this Friday to act on their applications. Five more days is more than sufficient time to act on applications that have sometimes been pending for two years or more. Here I am discussing our demand letter (among other things) with S. E. Cupp and gang on the Blaze:

We eagerly await the IRS’s response.