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Jul 23, 2013

Few takers for senior U.S. lawmakers’ tax reform drive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite talk about tax reform, U.S. senators are largely shrugging off a request from two veteran colleagues to present specific ideas for rewriting a tax code that has grown to more than 70,000 pages since its last revamp 27 years ago.

With a deadline for submissions approaching on Friday, members of Congress and their aides say many Senators are declining to accept the challenge from Democratic Senator Max Baucus and Republican Senator Orrin Hatch.

Jul 18, 2013

IRS watchdog looking into targeting of groups beyond Tea Party

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service’s inspector general said on Thursday he is expanding his probe of IRS treatment of political groups that applied for tax-exempt status to see if liberal groups were treated the same way as conservative ones.

Under attack from Democrats over his earlier inquiries, IRS watchdog Russell George said there is new evidence to study in the nine-week-old controversy about the IRS’s handling of tax-exempt applications from “Tea Party” and other groups.

Jul 18, 2013

Treasury official rebuffs accusations in IRS targeting affair

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Treasury Department official on Thursday rebuffed accusations from congressional Democrats who say he was biased in his investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s controversial scrutiny of Tea Party-linked political groups.

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Russell George, made his comments in prepared testimony to a House of Representatives Committee, which was holding a series of hearings on whether the IRS unfairly targeted and scrutinized conservative groups applying for tax exempt status.

Jul 18, 2013

IRS workers involved in Tea Party scrutiny to face U.S. lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Internal Revenue Service officials who took part in added scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax exemptions will testify publicly for the first time on Thursday before U.S. lawmakers, in an affair that has become increasingly partisan.

The hearing comes two months into the controversy, set off in May when an inspector general’s report said the IRS inappropriately targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups for added review of their applications for tax exemptions.

Jul 17, 2013

Officials warn of Obamacare insurance exchange delays

WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – Two U.S. government
officials warned on Wednesday that the launch of new state
healthcare exchanges could potentially be delayed, raising
further doubts about the implementation of President Barack
Obama’s signature legislation.

Alan Duncan, an auditor with the Treasury Inspector General
for Tax Administration, an Internal Revenue Service agency that
monitors performance, said testing the systems needed to
implement the exchanges “will be difficult to complete” by the
Oct. 1 start date.

Jul 17, 2013

Washington IRS office played role in scrutiny case: Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A high-level Internal Revenue Service office in Washington played a role in delaying reviews of some conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status, according to excerpts of interviews released by Republicans on Wednesday.

The selected excerpts came from mid-level IRS officials in Washington, including one who expressed frustration that the IRS chief counsel’s office above him interfered with his review of the applications from Tea Party-type groups.

Jul 17, 2013

Watchdogs warn of U.S. healthcare insurance exchange delays

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. government watchdogs warned on Wednesday of possible delays in the scheduled October 1 start of new state healthcare exchanges, raising further doubts about the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

One watchdog warned the Internal Revenue Service would have difficulty completing testing of systems required to implement the law, while another from the Government Accountability Office said he also foresaw difficulties in meeting an October 1 deadline.

Jul 16, 2013

In Tea Party probe, IRS interviews show no political bias: Democrat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Democrat investigating U.S. Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of conservative groups on Tuesday said interviews with 15 agency employees had found no hint of White House involvement, challenging Republicans on a lingering controversy.

Moving to reframe an affair that first rocked the tax-collecting agency in May, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a 36-page memo that quoted IRS officials interviewed by panel investigators and internal IRS documents. So far, 15 employees have been interviewed and more are expected.

Jul 15, 2013

IRS workers, watchdog in IRS scrutiny case to face U.S. lawmakers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More key players in the controversy over the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups will face lawmakers this week in a case that has triggered a partisan fight over how the agency reviews applicants seeking tax exemption.

The House of Representatives committee looking into IRS practices will question a Cincinnati-based employee who was in charge of examining Tea Party-linked applications and a Washington IRS official who played a role in overseeing her work.

Jul 15, 2013

IRS workers in Tea Party ruckus face House panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three Internal Revenue Service officials enmeshed in the Tea Party controversy will face lawmakers for the first time this week to testify in a case that triggered a partisan fight over how the agency reviews applicants for tax exemption.

The House of Representatives committee looking into the practices of the federal tax-collection agency will question a Cincinnati-based IRS employee who was in charge of examining Tea Party-linked applications and two Washington IRS officials who played a role in overseeing her work.