While we’ve known for months that the Internal Revenue Service has long targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, it’s now come to light that the targeting even includes veterans’ organizations.
The venerable American Legion has come under the IRS’ microscope, and its believed that Lois Lerner — who is on paid administrative leave after testifying before a House committee hearing and pleading the Fifth — is behind it all, according to The Daily Caller.
“The IRS now requires American Legion posts to maintain dates of service and character of service records for all members,” the American Legion stated. “The penalty for not having the required proof of eligibility is, apparently, $1,000 per day.”
The new record keeping and reporting requirements for veterans’ organizations are contained in the IRS’s audit procedures manual.
American Legion legal counsel Philip Onderdonk Jr. told The Daily Caller:
The American Legion has recently learned of the so-called IRS ‘audit manual’ and is concerned that portions of it attempt to amend statutes passed by Congress and approved by the president.
Resolutions recommending action by the Legion’s legislative division on two of the most egregious sections of the IRS document are being presented for a vote by members at The American Legion’s annual national convention in Houston [this] week. If the resolutions are adopted, the Legion will be empowered as a body to urge correction of the veterans service organization-related portion(s) of the IRS manual and suggest congressional review of the entire 38 section IRS document.
The debacle has been brought to the attention of U.S. Sen Jerry Moran, R-Kan., a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, and he’s not at all pleased.
On the heels of Americans’ anger over revelations that the IRS intentionally targeted certain groups, it has been brought to my attention that the IRS is now turning their sights toward our nation’s veterans.
If a post is unable or not willing to turn over this personal information, it’s possible they could face a fine of $1,000 per day.
I am deeply concerned about this revelation and will insist on answers. This policy seems to be crafted with the oversight of Lois Lerner and deserves, at a minimum, a thorough look to make certain the IRS is not overstepping bounds of privacy and respect for our nation’s heroes.
The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit veterans organization chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919, abd now has over 2.4 million members in 14,000 posts worldwide, according to its website.