Timeline of Communications between Congressman Marchant and IRS
March 22, 2012
The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, of which Congressman Marchant is a member, holds its 2012 hearing on the tax return filing season and general IRS operations. Chairman Boustany asks then-IRS Commissioner Shulman about reports that the IRS has been targeting Tea Party groups. Shulman responds, “I can give you assurances…[t]here is absolutely no targeting.”
March 28, 2012
Congressman Marchant sends a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman voicing deep concerns about inquiries by the IRS into the tax-exempt status of conservative organizations, namely Tea Party groups.
April 23, 2012
Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Boustany and 61 other House Republicans, including Congressman Marchant, sign a letter to Commissioner Shulman inquiring about reports that “numerous nonprofit civic organizations across the country have experienced extensive delays and received excessively burdensome information requests” when applying for tax-exempt status.
June 15, 2012
The IRS responds to the April 23 letter from Chairman Boustany and 61 other House Republicans, but includes no information about the IRS’s practices.
June 22, 2012
The IRS responds to the March 28 letter from Congressman Marchant relating to inquiries by the IRS for additional information from Tea Party groups. The IRS letter makes no mention of targeting Tea Party or conservative groups.
July 25, 2012
The Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee holds a hearing on charitable organizations. In response to a question from Congressman Marchant regarding reported IRS harassment of conservative groups, then-IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steve Miller tells the Subcommittee, “I am aware that some 200 501(c)(4) applications fell into this category [the determinations letter process]. We did group those organizations together to ensure consistency, to ensure quality.” Miller made no reference to the IRS’s discriminatory practices.
Mr. Marchant: …I have been contacted by several of the groups in my district. And they feel like they are being harassed. I don't have any evidence that that is the case. But they feel like they have been harassed and feel like the IRS is threatening them with some kind of action or audit. What kind of a letter or action is taking place at this time that you are aware of?
Mr. Miller: So if we are talking about social welfare organizations, (c)(4)s, 501(c)(4)s, then we did receive quite a few. We received an uptick, an increase in the number of (c)(4) organizations that were advocacy organizations, they were advocating on various things, which is a fine thing for a 501(c)(4) to do. It is politics that isn't really considered to be appropriate 501(c)(4) behavior past a certain threshold because they can do politics. And what is politics also, Congressman, is, you know, it may not be what you and I would think of politics as; it is politics under the Internal Revenue Code, which is really campaign intervention. It is endorsing or arguing against a particular candidate for public office, that is politics.
So you know I am aware that there is an uptick of organizations that came into us for exemption. So it was the determination letter process, not the examination process.
I am aware that some 200 501(c)(4) applications fell into this category. We did group those organizations together to ensure consistency, to ensure quality. We continue to work those cases.
My understanding, Congressman, is something over 50 of the 200 have received exemption already, more will. But many of these organizations fall into the category that I was talking about with Congresswoman Jenkins, where they are very small organizations and they are not quite sure what the rules are, and so we are working with them to ensure that they understand what the rules are. It is my hope that some of the noise that we heard earlier this year has abated as we continue to work through these cases.
(Full transcript here)
May 10, 2013
It was revealed that the IRS had in fact been targeting conservative and Tea Party groups since 2010.
May 16, 2013
Congressman Marchant signs on as an original co-sponsor to the “Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act” (H.R. 2009), legislation that would prohibit the IRS from implementing or enforcing any provisions of the president’s health care law.
May 17, 2013
Ways and Means Committee holds a hearing on IRS targeting conservative groups. Congressman Marchant again questions Steve Miller, Acting Commissioner of the IRS, about targeting Tea Party groups.
May 23, 2013
Congressman Marchant sends Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel a letter that calls for the IRS to expedite the processing of the still pending applications by Tea Party and any other organizations in the 24th Congressional District of Texas.
June 4, 2013
The Ways and Means Committee hosted a hearing about groups unfairly targeted by the IRS. Congressman Marchant cites how the IRS repeatedly misled Congress and dodged questions about targeting for over a year. Congressman Marchant voices the concerns of conservative groups in the 24th District of Texas that were unfairly targeted.
August 1, 2013
Months after senior IRS officials Joseph Grant and Steve Miller resigned over evidence showing the IRS was targeting conservative groups, it is revealed the IRS still has nearly the same targeting measures in place.
September 18, 2013
During a Ways and Means hearing with the IRS Acting Commissioner, Congressman Marchant states there was more political activity in the IRS itself than among the groups the IRS was investigating. Congressman Marchant pushes for the IRS Acting Commissioner to quickly alleviate the backlog plaguing organizations in the 24th District of Texas awaiting word on whether or not they qualify for the tax-exempt status.
· March 28, 2012 – Letter from Congressman Marchant to IRS Commissioner Shulman
· June 22, 2012 – IRS response letter
· July 25, 2012 – Ways and Means Committee hearing exchange between Congressman Marchant and then-IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Steve Miller
· May 23, 2013 – Letter from Congressman Marchant to Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel
If you feel that you have been targeted by the IRS, I encourage you to share your story on the House Ways and Means Committee's website here.