Two big items happened today concerning the IRS. No, the agency still exists and we have to pay taxes. However, the agency has apologized for targeting conservative groups due to their political beliefs during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Also, it’s now official that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will leave in November as President Donald Trump announced a new leader.
Back in 2013, Lois Lerner, who directed the IRS’s Exempt Organizations unit, came under fire after conservative groups had their tax-exempt status delayed due to their political beliefs.
The long awaited apology has finally arrived. From The Daily Caller:
Court documents reveal the IRS admitted wrongdoing and apologized for the nefarious conduct.
“The IRS admits that its treatment of Plaintiffs during the tax-exempt determination process, including screening their applications based on their names or policy positions, subjecting those applications to heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays, and demanding some Plaintiffs’ information that TITA determined was unnecessary to the agency’s determination of their tax-exempt status, was wrong,” the IRS said in court documents. “For such treatment, the IRS expresses its sincere apology.”
The DOJ has settled lawsuits with these conservative groups who felt the backlash from the IRS. The department did not disclose the amount of money handed out to over 400 organizations:
“The [Internal Revenue Service]’s use of these criteria as a basis for heightened scrutiny was wrong and should never have occurred,” Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “It is improper for the IRS to single out groups for different treatment based on their names or ideological positions.”
The Trump administration reached a settlement in two separate cases, one including 41 groups and another filed by 428 plaintiffs.
The attorneys for the groups celebrated the moment:
“The Government’s generous settlement with the Class Plaintiffs fully vindicates their claims that the IRS targeted Tea Party and conservative groups based on their viewpoint,” lead counsel for the conservative groups, Eddie Greim, told Fox News in an email. “However, like Lois Lerner’s stated apology back in 2013, any recent so-called ‘apology’ by the IRS has little value. That is because the Service continues to suggest that its targeting was really just ‘mismanagement.’”
Greim added: “This story was dismantled in our case. For taxpayers to be truly confident that the IRS has changed, it needs to be truthful about its past abuse of power.”
New IRS Leader
David Kautter, the current assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department, will take over as interim leader of the IRS in November when Koskinen’s term expires.
“David will provide important leadership while we wait to confirm a permanent commissioner,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
It was expected that Koskinen wouldn’t be reappointed, since he was hired by President Barack Obama and is loathed by congressional Republicans, some of whom tried to impeach him in 2016. Whoever is appointed to replace Koskinen on a permanent basis may have two high-profile and sensitive jobs: helping implement President Donald Trump’s proposed tax cuts and overseeing an audit of the president’s tax returns.
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