Watchdog: IRS fought oversight in tea party cases

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:01 am | Updated: 3:32 pm, Wed Jun 26, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Taxpayer Advocate says the Internal Revenue Service has long resisted efforts by her office to help groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Nina Olson, who runs the independent office within the IRS, says that created a culture that enabled agents to improperly target groups for additional scrutiny.

She says that culture continues, even amid the current IRS scandal.

Olson says in her annual report to Congress that it was in 2007 when her office first approached the IRS about a backlog of applications for tax-exempt status.

Olson has the authority to intervene in cases in which IRS actions are causing a "significant hardship" for taxpayers.

The report says the IRS' Exempt Organizations division resisted Olson's efforts and said Olson had no authority in such cases.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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