A group that calls itself the largest tea party group in the United States — one of slew of conservative organizations targeted for scrutiny by the IRS — finally has received its tax-exempt status after more than three years.
TheTeaParty.net told the Washington Examiner
the decision came in a letter from the IRS Monday; the group applied for 501c(4) tax-exempt status in March 2010.
The group said the Internal Revenue Service branch headed by the recently retired Lois Lerner went after its political donors, agenda, and even its reading lists — all against the rules.
"After four years battling Lois Lerner's shock troops, we are relieved that the IRS has relented and finally recognized our right to operate as a nonprofit,” said Todd Cefaratti, founder of TheTeaParty.net.
“First they tried to ignore us. Then they tried to discredit us. And then they tried to deny our legal rights. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the end to a sad chapter in our government’s targeting of its own citizens," he said.
Lawyer Dan Backer said legal threats helped nudge the IRS into relenting.
“It just proves the only way to beat the overreach of government is to fight back,” he said.
The group was vindicated in part in May, when IRS officials admitted agents targeted the group and others. But TheTeaParty.net thumbed its nose at the apology
“What we’ve long suspected to be the case is now confirmed to be true," said Niger Innis, a strategist for the group. "The Obama administration has used the IRS as a political weapon. The IRS may claim that it is ‘sorry.’ But given the damage that has been done, their apology is not accepted."
Last month, another target of the IRS, the Texas-based group True the Vote
, was also granted tax-exempt status — the day Lerner announced her retirement.
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