Local Tea Party Targeted
The Asheville Tea Party says it was among the conservative groups that have been targeted with excessive reviews by the IRS in their attempt to complete application for tax exempt status. Chairman Jane Bilello says the same IRS office in Ohio now under investigation repeatedly stalled and dragged out her application which is still in review more than a year after it was filed and paid for with a $400 dollar check.
The IRS admitted this past week that it targeted conservative groups for excessive review by searching for keywords such as "tea party", "constitution" and "patriot". Congressional leaders have called it an "abuse of power" and are calling on the president to appoint a special prosecutor to see who was responsible for the IRS targeting that went on as far back as 2010.
Asheville Tea Party applied for permanent tax exempt status in May of 2012. But Bilello says the IRS agents kept giving her excuses for why they felt her group did not meet the criteria for 501-c-3 and flooded her with additional paper work and forms. Bilello says she was forced to fill on 2012 taxes on a 990 form because the IRS still couldn't give her an answer about her application almost a year after it was filed. She's complained to her congressman and is forwarding her documentation to his office hoping it helps in their investigation. A house committee begins hearings into the scandal on Friday.
By Frank Fraboni