Wednesday, August 14, 2013

West Jersey Tea Party joins lawsuit against IRS

The Medford-based West Jersey Tea Party has joined a class action lawsuit filed by a host of tea parties and other conservative groups from across the country against the Internal Revenue Service for allegedly targeting them for extra scrutiny, harassment and delays when they applied for tax-exempt status.

The West Jersey Tea Party is one of approximately 30 groups now participating as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was originally filed May 20 in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati by the Colfax, Calif.-based NorCal Tea Party Patriots in response to a Treasury Department inspector general’s report that revealed tax-exemption applications from tea party groups and other conservative and religious organizations across the country had been singled-out by IRS employees for extra scrutiny and delays.

Applications from some progressive or liberal groups also received extra scrutiny as well.

The complaint alleges the IRS actions violated the groups’ constitutional rights and federal privacy laws. It seeks unspecified damages for “loss of benefit of tax exempt status, cost of complying with burdensome requests, loss of donors and membership fees … punitive damages, litigation costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.”

West Jersey Tea Party joined the plaintiffs last week and was expected to be named in forthcoming legal documents, officials said.


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