First on Fox: Senator J.D. Vance, Republican of Ohio, is expected to send a letter Thursday morning to the IRS commissioner demanding that he stop “harassing” conservative organizations.
Vance’s letter comes after the IRS informed the American Accountability Foundation (AAF) in a letter, which the AAF shared with Fox News Digital, that it would begin an investigation into the watchdog group on September 14.
The IRS notified AAF that it would inquire whether the organization “operates pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code,” according to the letter.
“However, to date, the IRS has provided no evidence that AAF failed to observe the requirements of Section 501(c)(3) and has not explained why AAF would be at risk for failing to observe those requirements,” Vance wrote in the lawsuit. letter.
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“I don’t need to remind you that the AAF’s audit comes on the heels of an ugly chapter in the IRS’s history, in which the agency unfairly targeted conservative groups for audit based on their opinions,” he wrote.
Vance is seeking information from the IRS about potential bias in selecting audits, citing historical instances of IRS bias against conservative organizations. One example Vance cites was in 2017 when the agency subjected conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status to intense scrutiny and significant delays.
The letter noted that the IRS admitted to targeting these groups based on their conservative views starting in 2010, leading to a purge of the agency’s senior leadership.
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Additionally, inquire whether the IRS has declined to pursue audits of progressive or left-wing nonprofits and seek explanations for those decisions.
The AAF published an expose of several of Biden’s nominees for senior positions, prompting him to withdraw some of their nominations. It also published emails revealing that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse urged the IRS to audit conservative organizations, as reported last November.
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In June, the IRS launched an investigation into the IRS over its construction of a government-run tax filing program, which critics say would give the agency too much power.
The AAF filed public records requests, first obtained by Fox News Digital, seeking communications and other documents from the IRS and the Office of Management and Budget in connection with the establishment of an electronic tax filing system operated by the IRS, commonly referred to as “Direct File.”
The Inflation Reduction Act, a massive Democratic-backed spending bill signed into law last year, includes $15 million for the IRS to consider creating a free direct tax filing system. Specifically, the legislation would require a study by an independent third party to examine the feasibility of the idea, as well as a report from the IRS to be submitted to Congress evaluating the study, the cost of such a system and taxpayer opinions based on surveys.
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An IRS spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the IRS cannot confirm or deny current audits.
Fox News’ Aaron Kligman contributed to this report.