Brady, Roskam seek answers on IRS handling of pro-Israel groups seeking tax-exempt status

Kevin Brady

U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) sought information this week on IRS practices and policies for reviewing tax-exempt status applications to ensure pro-Israel groups are not being discriminated against.

Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Roskam, the chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, raised concerns in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen that the Obama administration had directed the IRS to discriminate against pro-Israel groups.

“It is distressing that the United States government subjected Americans to discriminatory treatment because of their political and religious beliefs,” the letter states. “It is more distressing that it took seven years for one such group to get fair treatment by the IRS, even as the IRS told Congress that it no longer discriminated against such groups. And perhaps most alarmingly, recent press accounts suggest that even after all of this history, the IRS might even be pursuing new discriminatory policies.”

Despite the IRS’s claims that it stopped political targeting in 2013, the letter continues, the IRS and administration’s actions over the last seven years lend credibility to press accounts of discriminatory policies.

“Based on internal IRS documents, facts exposed during litigation and recent news reports, the committee seeks documents from the IRS to understand how the IRS has treated tax-exempt organizations connected to Israel with viewpoints different than the administration’s in the past and how the IRS plans to treat such organizations in the future,” the letter states.

Brady and Roskam asked the IRS to respond to the request no later than Jan. 11.