In this case, the IRS evidently wants to deny the group’s filing for a tax exemption — an exemption regularly given to non-profit organizations. But the only grounds for this, it seems from the provided evidence, is the group’s differences with the Obama administration’s favored position, which the IRS seems to see as distancing itself from Israel. Of course, the administration’s flunkies constantly deny that the administration is doing this, and its spokesmen continually give lip service to its 100 per cent dedication to the special American-Israeli alliance.
Most tax experts queried by Smith find the question troubling: “‘The claims go far beyond what should be the IRS’s role,’ said Paul Caron, a University of Cincinnati law professor and the author of TaxProf Blog.” And another tax expert thought the question could be construed as pertinent if the religious group was seeking tax exemption and was in fact engaging in policy proposals and political pressure. But even that expert thought the form in which the IRS agent raised the issue was “not the way I would want any of my agents to do it.” Even the former IRS commissioner, Sheldon Cohen, called the specific question “unusual.”
What must now be publicly investigated — more work, perhaps, for Rep. Darrell Issa, likely the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — is, as Z Street put it, whether or not the IRS is “improperly considering the political viewpoint of applicants” and engaging in “clear viewpoint discrimination.”
If the administration and the Democrats really want such investigations, let’s get them on!