On Friday, the Texas Patriots Tea Party scored a major victory against the IRS in a U.S. District Court. The judge in the case, Michael Barrett, granted a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs and ordered the tax agency to process their application for tax exemption without further delay.
“Regardless of the fact the IRS purports to have stopped applying the inappropriate political advocacy criteria in 2013, the evidence is undisputed that the IRS continued to delay processing TPTP’s until August of 2016,” Judge Barrett wrote in his opinion.
The case of the Texas Patriots Tea Party is a special one, since their application for tax exempt status was filed after the original IRS scandal had supposedly been put to rest. In May of 2012, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reported that while the IRS had been using politically-motivated criteria to choose which groups received special scrutiny, those practices had been brought to a halt.
The TPTP, however, did not file for tax exempt status until that summer and their application was not flagged for extra examination until September of 2012. After years of delay, the IRS sent the group a questionnaire in September of this year, asking them to provide documents relating to expenses such as salaries and fundraising. Within that questionnaire were political inquiries, such as whether or not the TPTP gives “an equal opportunity to participate to speakers on behalf of other political candidates seeking the same office.”
One wonders if left-leaning non-profit groups are asked any such questions. Probably not, considering the fact that those questions are way out of line.
Mark Meckler, whose Citizens for Self Governance funded the lawsuit, praised the decision in a statement.
“In the closing days of the election, we have further proof of deeply rooted corruption by Democrats,” he said. “The federal judge in a class action funded by our organization on behalf of tea party and other conservative organizations, has ruled against the IRS in their Summary Judgment motion and in favor of Plaintiff Texas Patriots Tea Party on a request for a Preliminary Injunction. The Judge ruled that the plaintiff is likely to prevail on the merits in proving that IRS officials targeted American citizens for harassment based on their political beliefs.”
Over the last eight years, abundant evidence has arisen showing that agencies like the IRS, the EPA, and perhaps even the FBI have been corrupted by outsized political influence. Tax collection, environmental protection, and law enforcement should be carried out without a political agenda. If we can’t shrink the federal government, we should at least demand that it apply its power objectively.