The employees of the US Internal Revenue Service were instructed to pay special attention to terms such as "disputed territories in the Middle East" and "Israel" when flagging tax-exemption applications for further inquiry, the newly-appointed IRS chief said on Monday after a month-long review ordered by President Barack Obama.
This potentially casts a new light on the scandal provoked by revelations that IRS agents had been singling out conservative political groups, especially those affiliated with the Tea Party, for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.
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"We did determine and discover there are other BOLO lists in place," Werfel said on the call. "There was a wide ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum."
The IRS has scraped use of the "be on the lookout" (BOLO) lists, newly appointed IRS chief Daniel Werfel said in a conference call with reporters. His disclosure about the breadth of the lists added a new twist to a six-week-old controversy that has embarrassed the Obama administration, forced the exit of several IRS officials and triggered probes by the FBI and Congress.
According to Businessweek, the IRS’s Monday disclosure of 15 redacted versions of its Be On the Lookout document, or BOLO, worked to uphold its contention that delays experienced by groups affiliated with the Tea Party applying for nonprofit status were a symptom of mismanagement rather than politically motivated improper targeting.
Other terms the agency's employees had to look for included "progressive" and "occupy," terms associated with the American social protest movement.
Werfel said the IRS review found no intentional wrongdoing by employees inside or outside the agency.
AP contributed to this report
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