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Turnabout Is Fair Play: Senators Have Many Questions For IRS

The Internal Revenue Service is under fire for improperly singling out some conservative groups for extra scrutiny — putting them through months (or longer) of questions that delayed or derailed the organizations' requests for tax-exempt status.

Well, now the chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee have some questions and requests — actually dozens of them — for the IRS.

As senators Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, say, "targeting applicants for tax-exempt status using political labels threatens to undermine the public's trust in the IRS."

So, they've sent the outgoing acting commissioner, Steven Miller, a letter with 41 multiple-part queries or demands for information. They range from ...

"A copy of any and all questions, questionnaires and information requests used by the IRS to attempt to elicit additional information from 501(c)(3)-(6) applicants from Feb. 1, 2010, to the present regarding their donor lists, volunteer lists, financial support for, and relationships with, political candidates, and any and all similar information."

... to ...

"Any written communication, memos, policy drafts, or other documents related to the interpretation of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code since 2009."

As NPR's Peter Overby tweeted: "Looks a lot like the q'aires the IRS sent to 501c4 applicants. Hmmm."

The senators set a deadline of May 31, 2013. There's no mention of being able to file for an extension on that. Miller, who was forced to submit his resignation, is expected to still be in the acting commissioner's post until around June 8, according to ABC News.

There's a copy of the lawmakers' request here and in the box below. Just click on the headline "Senators Baucus and Hatch have some questions for the IRS."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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