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IRS Chief Resigns over ‘Tea Party’ Controversy

May 16, 2013

Acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven Miller, resigned from his post following a report by U.S. Treasury Department‘s Inspector General. The report alleges that the IRS targeted conservative political groups, which resulted in a probe that found the IRS guilty of the misconduct.

President Obama expressed “outrage” saying, “I am angry about it … Everybody believes what happened is an outrage. The good news is that it’s fixable … I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that this never happens again.”

The accusations, the probe, and the truth about the IRS’ involvement in favoritism has tarnished the image of the IRS. “It should not matter what political stripe you’re from. The fact of the matter is the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. We’re going to hold the responsible parties accountable,” President Obama stated.

The Treasury report found that IRS leadership did not initiate the screening process, but were responsible for the supervision of IRS employees who were operating the targeting program. It is believed that low-level IRS employees were conducting a screening process where they filtered and prevented right-wing groups from receiving tax-exempt status. The employees running the program used terms such as “Tea Party” and “patriot” to target those groups.

After the probe, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew asked Steven Miller to resign from his post. In a letter to Steven Miller, Jacob Lew wrote, “An urgent need to restore public trust. I find it necessary at this time to request your resignation.”

Recently, a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) informed the IRS that they needed to improve their internal controls. The report said that the IRS did not correct many of the problems earlier reports discovered.

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