One month after it issued an apology for targeting several conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, the has said that it will no longer use screening criteria in that manner and will establish a new process to give previously targeted groups a fast-track alternative for securing tax-exempt status, the reports.
According to the Journal, the IRS unit in Cincinnati that reviews applications for tax-exempt status has a long history of applying added scrutiny to certain groups as a way to help it manage large numbers of applications, including those from foreclosure-assistance organizations and so-called social welfare organizations. Documents released by the agency earlier this week show that the unit also withheld applications from groups focused on disputed territories in the Middle East and the Affordable Care Act, the Journal reports.
On Monday, the agency released an interim report that blamed "significant management and judgment failures" for the targeting of conservative groups with Tea Party" or "patriot" in their name. The resulting controversy led agency to replace a number of managers in the Cincinnati office.
Although the IRS has said its investigation of the screening practice is ongoing, House Ways and Means Committee chair Dave Camp (R-MI) told the Journal that the agency's interim report fails to answer a number of key questions. "The IRS still needs to provide clear answers to the most significant questions," said Camp, such as "who started this practice, why was it allowed to continue for so long, and how widespread was it?"