WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service told its employees to watch out for applications for tax-exempt status by successors to ACORN, the now-defunct Democratic- leaning community organizing group.
Congressional Democrats, who released the recently unredacted information Tuesday, maintained that such scrutiny undermines the idea that the U.S. tax agency’s policing of political groups was limited to tea party organizations.
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, disbanded in 2010 after hidden videos showed workers offering advice on opening a prostitution business.
“This new information should put a nail in the coffin of the Republican claims that the IRS’ actions were politically motivated or were targeted at only one side of the political spectrum,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a statement. “It is time for House Republicans to stop trying to score political points and start to focus on reforming the IRS.”
Republicans have insisted that tea party groups and other organizations that aid Republicans were subject to longer IRS delays as they awaited confirmation of their tax-exempt status.
The IRS disclosed in May that it had put tea party groups’ applications under extra scrutiny, and apologized. Since then, at least four IRS officials have been pushed out of their jobs, congressional committees have opened inquiries and the Justice Department has begun a criminal probe.