(Memphis) The IRS is being investigated for allegedly targeting certain groups because of their political affiliation, and political scientists say this should concern all Americans.
One local tea party group says they fell victim to the IRS.
The IRS is supposed to be a natural organization beyond partisan politics, but a scandal unfolding in Washington shows that may not be the case, and it’s impacting groups all over the country including right here in Memphis.
Mark Harr is with the Mid-South Tea Party and says his group fell victim to the IRS targeting scandal.
“When we start to intimidate and criminalize different opinions this is bad for America. This is the kind of thing we see in places like Russia and China. Not in America,” said Harr.
Harr’s group and others like it applied for non-profit status claiming they deserved to be tax exempt because they are not a political organization.
Harr says the IRS just kept making them jump through hoops.
“They were asking for speeches, presentations, who comes to your meetings, lists of materials and just a lot of seemingly odd questions,” said Harr.
Two years passed before the Mid-South Tea Party was approved.
For some other groups it only takes a matter of weeks.
Last week Harr met with congressional leaders and committees to talk about the group’s story.
“The American people deserve to know what happened and who knew what when,” said Harr.
WREG`s political commentator Otis Sanford says this story doesn`t only impact the tea party it`s something that should concern all Americans.
“You really don`t want the IRS targeting any group no matter what their political bent is when they aren`t targeting anyone else. It`s just an issue of fairness,” said Sanford.
Harr and the Mid-South Tea Party are considering legal action against the IRS and the possibility of partnering up with other groups that were targeted to keep this from happening again.