TN Tea Parties Dealings With the IRA (a roundup of recent stories)

Roane County Tea Party (in the News Sentinel)
Gary Johnston thought the questions the Internal Revenue Service was asking seemed overly intrusive, even for an agency known for being irritatingly meticulous.
When he showed the federal tax agency’s demands to an accountant, her response confirmed his suspicions. “Her first question was, ‘Who did you make angry?'” Johnston recalled. “She said, ‘There is something wrong here. A lot of these questions are illegal.'”
Johnston feels absolutely certain that his organization, the Roane County Tea Party, was one of dozens of conservative groups the IRS has admitted to singling out for extra scrutiny when reviewing their applications for tax-exempt status. Today and Friday, he will be in Washington with other tea party officials from across the country to draw attention to their tangles with the tax agency.
Johnston said it took the Roane County Tea Party roughly 37 months to be granted non-profit, tax-exempt status — a process that normally should have taken about four months.
A few months after he submitted the paperwork in 2009, Johnston, the group’s co-chairman, got a package from the IRS demanding answers to roughly 80 questions.
Full story, HERE.


Chattanooga Tea Party (from Times-Free Press)
The IRS subjected the Chattanooga Tea Party to “unnecessary” questioning and “significant processing delays” in the group’s request for nonprofit status, according to an inspector general’s report and documents obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The federal agency’s foot-dragging delayed the Chattanooga Tea Party’s request to be tax exempt by more than three years and two election cycles. The group was among dozens singled out by the IRS because of their titles and perceived political leanings, putting a local face on a scandal sweeping the nation.
Among dozens of questions in two separate inquiries, the agency requested Chattanooga Tea Party Facebook screen shots, meeting minutes and video recordings.
Additionally, nearly three years after the local group formed, the IRS demanded “copies of all hand-outs distributed, phone calls, emails … conversations, reactions of speakers, etc.” of monthly Chattanooga Tea Party meetings “from inception to present.”
Full story, HERE.

Linchpins of Liberty (from WSMV)
A local conservative group is one of many claiming the IRS targeted them for political reasons.
Kevin Kookogey, founder of Linchpins of Liberty, says the IRS delayed his group’s application for tax-exempt status in 2011 because of his conservative affiliation.
The IRS apologized Friday for inappropriate “flagging” of conservative groups, including many with the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names.
Kookogey said Monday that after waiting for months he was told his application had been delayed while agents waited for guidance from superiors on how to handle his group and similar organizations.
“Almost exactly eight weeks later I got the same letter that hundreds of other groups had gotten, asking for information that was well beyond the scope of the law or what the law would allow. That’s when the American Center for Law and Justice got involved,” said Kookogey.
Full story, HERE.
The ACLJ is representing 27 groups targeted for special scrutiny by the IRS

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