5/13/09 – President Obama jokes about using an IRS audit to punish someone over an NCAA basketball tournament bracket.
March 2010 – IRS begins selectively and purposefully stalling hundreds of conservative groups’ applications for non-profit status with prohibitively detailed information requests, while fast-tracking liberal groups’ applications.
9/29/10 – Max Baucus (D-MT) requests IRS investigate political activity by conservative nonprofit groups.
“I request that you and your agency survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations involved in political campaign activity to examine whether they are operated for the organization’s intended tax exempt purpose and to ensure that political campaign activity is not the organization’s primary activity.”
October 2010 – Republicans complain about IRS audits requested by Baucus.
“Leading Republicans are suggesting that a senior official in the Obama administration may have improperly accessed the tax records of Koch Industries, an oil company whose owners are major conservative donors.And the Republicans are also upset about an I.R.S. review requested by Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who leads the Finance Committee, into the political activities of tax-exempt groups. Such a review threatens to “chill the legitimate exercise of First Amendment rights,” wrote two Republican senators, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Jon Kylof Arizona, in a letter sent to the I.R.S. on Wednesday.”
10/25/10 – President Obama implores his supporters to “punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends”.
Winter 2012 – Conservative groups complain about IRS selective treatment.
“The Internal Revenue Service is caught in an election-year struggle between Democratic lawmakers pressing for a crackdown on nonprofit political groups and conservative organizations accusing the tax agency of conducting a politically charged witch hunt.”
3/7/12 – New York Times applauds IRS for doing “its job” by harassing conservative groups.
“Taxpayers should be encouraged by complaints from Tea Party chapters applying for nonprofit tax status at being asked by the Internal Revenue Service to prove they are “social welfare” organizations and not the political activists they so obviously are.”
3/12/12 – Chuck Schumer requests more scrutiny of political nonprofits by IRS
“The senators said the lack of clarity in the IRS rules has allowed political groups to improperly claim 501(c)4 status and may even be allowing donors to these groups to wrongly claim tax deductions for their contributions. The senators promised legislation if the IRS failed to act to fix these problems.”
Spring 2012 – Treasury Inspector General begins investigating reports of IRS harassment. Unclear if selective scrutiny actually stopped.
4/22/13 – White House counsel was advised of IG investigation.
5/14/13 – IRS releases Treasury Inspector General report about abuses.
“Miller, a 25-year career IRS employee, was appointed acting commissioner on November 9, 2012. According to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, his 210-day term would have set his last day in that post as June 8.”