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Jun 3, 2013

New IRS chief tells Congress he will clean up U.S. tax agency

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The new chief of the Internal Revenue Service told Congress on Monday the tax-collecting agency would fully investigate and repair the problems that led to the inappropriate targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, appearing before Congress for the first time since moving into the top job two weeks ago, said the agency would make a public accounting of the practices that have led to multiple investigations and a political firestorm.

May 31, 2013

IRS faces more heat from watchdog report amid Tea Party fracas

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The new chief of the Internal Revenue Service conceded on Friday there was “inappropriate” spending on a 2010 agency conference, a subject set to be the focus of one of three U.S. congressional hearings next week at which the IRS will likely face more criticism.

The IRS is already embroiled in a major political scandal over extra scrutiny it gave to conservative groups seeking tax-free status, and Republicans in the House of Representatives are likely to keep the White House on the defensive over the agency’s actions.

May 30, 2013

Embattled IRS staff remain in jobs despite U.S. tax review scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – They’ve been scorned in televised congressional hearings for unfairly abusing tax laws, threatened with questioning in a criminal investigation and accused of using federal jobs to push a political agenda.

At this point in the saga surrounding the Internal Revenue Service and its use of “Tea Party” and other search terms to flag conservative groups while reviewing their applications for tax-exempt status, no one appears to have lost their job.

May 23, 2013

IRS official at center of scandal takes administrative leave

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who this week asserted her right not to answer questions about the controversy over extra scrutiny for conservative groups, took administrative leave on Thursday, a congressional source close to the matter said.

Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt division, has become a lightning rod in the fracas over extra scrutiny the agency gave to Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

May 23, 2013

In any scandal, lying to Congress is tough to prove

By Joan Biskupic and Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – When embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner was called before a congressional committee Wednesday, she declared that she had done nothing wrong – but said she did not intend to testify. Her defiance only turned up the heat from Republicans who have threatened to take her to court for misleading Congress.

Yet whatever political problems Lerner may have escalated for the Obama administration in the scandal over IRS scrutiny of Tea Party and other conservative groups, history suggests neither she nor any other IRS official is likely to face criminal charges related to congressional testimony.

May 23, 2013

Analysis: In any scandal, lying to Congress is tough to prove

By Joan Biskupic and Kim Dixon

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters) – When embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner was called before a congressional committee Wednesday, she declared that she had done nothing wrong – but said she did not intend to testify. Her defiance only turned up the heat from Republicans who have threatened to take her to court for misleading Congress.

Yet whatever political problems Lerner may have escalated for the Obama administration in the scandal over IRS scrutiny of Tea Party and other conservative groups, history suggests neither she nor any other IRS official is likely to face criminal charges related to congressional testimony.

May 22, 2013

IRS officials thwart lawmakers’ quest for answers on IRS scandal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three congressional hearings during the past week have allowed lawmakers to vent their anger at the U.S. tax agency for its targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny, but the sessions have yielded few answers about who was responsible.

The frustration on Capitol Hill seemed to reach a crescendo on Wednesday when Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official who first acknowledged the targeting – and the day’s star witness before a House panel – refused to testify.

May 22, 2013

IRS official refuses to answer questions at scandal hearing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Internal Revenue Service official at the center of a tax scandal about extra scrutiny of conservative groups told a congressional hearing on Wednesday she had done nothing wrong but asserted her constitutional right not to answer questions.

“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws,” Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt unit, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

May 22, 2013

Tax official at center of scandal won’t testify: lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of a scandal about the targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, plans to assert her constitutional right not to answer questions from a congressional committee on Wednesday.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, wrote on Monday to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that is holding hearings into the IRS scandal.

May 21, 2013

U.S. tax official at center of scandal won’t testify – lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official at the center of a scandal about the targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny, plans to assert her constitutional right not to answer questions from a congressional committee on Wednesday.

“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, wrote on Monday to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that is holding hearings into the IRS scandal.