Is the IRS *unduly* targeting pro-Israel groups for scrutiny?

(H/T: Instapundit) Because let me be clear about something:

Applications of pro-Israel groups for tax-exempt status are routinely routed to an antiterrorism unit within the Internal Revenue Service for additional screening, according to the testimony of a Cincinnati-based IRS agent.


Asked by investigators whether “all pro-Israel applicants went to the terrorism unit,” Muthert responded, “Probably . . .  foreign activity, pro-Israel — if it is any type of foreign activity, it will go to the antiterrorism area.” Screeners like Muthert must consult the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Treasury Department office that enforces economic and trade sanctions, and “the terrorist list . . .  because a lot of organizations will create charities to funnel the money to terrorist countries.”

If this is the actual case, then this is not really a bad thing.  I have no problems with all groups with foreign activity being at least given the once-over to determine whether or not they’re a front group for Hamas or the IRA or Basque separatists or whatever the current crop of violent foreign causes is this week.  There’s a lot of cash in the USA, still, and a lot of people who will give a ‘worthy cause’ some of that cash – and since it’s assumed that tax-exempt groups have been checked out, it behooves the federal government to, well, check things out.  Because there is no shortage of shady groups wanting and waiting to take advantage of the situation.

The problem is, of course, that at this point you can’t trust the IRS to not have messed up this vetting procedure, too; which is why we’re going to need to check their work here. …And that’s why you don’t mess up in the first case.  Contrary to popular mythology, at the end of the day the IRS exists solely at the sufferance of the American people.  The American people are not particularly pleased at the IRS right now; and the politicians that can wreck the IRS’s collective day have duly noted that change in the atmosphere. So the IRS is just going to have to grin and bear it while they get, what’s the word? …ah, yes: audited.

Moe Lane

3 thoughts on “Is the IRS *unduly* targeting pro-Israel groups for scrutiny?”

  1. And what happens when they can’t produce the receipts? How does it get charged back to them? I like the idea of all foreign groups getting a second look as well, but the description of this problem is that it is ONLY pro-Israel groups. It says nothing about the other foreign entities. So is this another group being singled out or does this happen with any foreign groups?

  2. Another concern is the amount of time the vetting process takes. If you take three years to approve a group, nobody will donate to that group while its status is in doubt, and you’ll effectively kill it.

  3. The odds that Muslim groups are subject to the same level of scrutiny is near to zero. The Tsarnaev’s attended a mosque founded by a convicted al’Qaeda supporter, and they reportedly made “outbursts” that were troubling to that congregation. This is AFTER the Russians told us to keep an eye on that family.
    But the FBI’s only presence at that mosque was for “outreach”.
    I think it’s a pretty sure thing that the same solicitude is given to the “charities” that pay for jihad.

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