Myrtle Beach Tea Party Joins Federal Suit Against IRS

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mbtp_official_logo_largeThe Myrtle Beach Tea party is among multiple conservative groups that have filed a federal lawsuit, saying the IRS harassed them because of their political beliefs.

Also listed as defendants are U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew; former IRS deputy commissioner Steven Miller; Lois Lerner, the IRS’ former director of tax exempt organizations, who recently refused to answer questions during a Congressional hearing; and Holly Paz, a former acting manager in the IRS exemption organization office.

In a federal suit filed May 29, the Myrtle Beach Tea party and other plaintiffs say the defendants “unlawfully delayed and obstructed Plaintiffs’ applications for a determination of tax-exempt status.”

The suit also says the federal government violated the groups’ 1st and 5th Amendment rights.

In a news release, the local Tea Party said it filed for 501 (c)(4) tax exempt status on August 2010 and didn’t receive any information back until Feb. 1, 2012.

The release said the IRS posed 17 questions and 69 sub-questions to answer, and that the party had three weeks to respond “under penalties of perjury.”

“As of this date, the Myrtle Beach Tea Party application is still pending approval,” the release said.

“Defendants unlawfully delayed and thereby effectively denied approval of plaintiffs’ applications for tax exempt status by means of a comprehensive, pervasive, invidious and organized scheme that purposefully established unnecessary and burdensome inquiries and scrutiny of plaintiffs’ applications based solely upon plaintiffs’ political viewpoints,” the suit says.

An IRS spokesman couldn’t be reached as of this posting.

Read more about this story in the June 20 edition of the Carolina Forest Chronicle.

by Michael Smith

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