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Congressman Dan Donovan

Representing the 11th District of New York


Donovan Votes to Rein In IRS

April 20, 2016
Press Release
Bill to prohibit IRS from targeting citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights passes House

Washington, DC—April 20, 2016….Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11) yesterday voted to pass legislation aimed at the IRS’s reckless targeting of groups and individuals for tax scrutiny. The bill, H.R. 4903, prohibits the IRS from using funds to target American citizens simply for exercising their First Amendment rights.

Congressman Donovan said, “It is incredibly dangerous for our own government to punish its citizens for exercising a right as fundamental as free speech. The IRS’s shameful conduct in 2013 is a stain on our most cherished values. This bill makes crystal clear what should have been glaringly obvious to the IRS: free speech is not an acceptable reason for tax scrutiny.”

The legislation addresses the 2013 scandal in which the IRS abused its power by targeting tea party and other conservative organizations for unwarranted examinations of their tax exemptions. Beginning in 2010, IRS officials selected organizations with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their titles for intensive scrutiny, a clear abuse of the agency’s power and an act which further eroded the public’s trust in its government. A Department of Justice inquiry found “substantial evidence of mismanagement” and “poor judgment” by the agency, although no criminal charges were filed.

The legislation which passed the House explicitly prohibits the IRS from using any funds to target citizens for exercising their First Amendment rights.