WASHINGTON (AP) - The new chief of the Internal Revenue Service is acknowledging that the agency's screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed.
An internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press indicates IRS screeners were given lists advising them to be on the lookout not only for tea party and conservative groups, but for groups using terms including "Israel," ''Progressive" and "Occupy." Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee released 15 lists of terms that the IRS has provided to congressional investigators. The lists evolved over time and also included the phrases "Medical Marijuana," ''Occupied Territory Advocacy," ''Healthcare legislation," ''Newspaper Entities" and "Paying National Debt."
While investigators have said that agency screening for those groups had stopped in May 2012, Monday's revelations made it clear that screening for other kinds of organizations continued until earlier this month. That's when the agency's new chief, Danny Werfel, says he ordered the practice halted.