Civil Liberties

IRS Apparently Singled Out Groups Not Represented by Attorneys

Picked on the vulnerable


CINCINNATI—When it comes to being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, it appears that having a lawyer helps, a Cincinnati Enquirer review has found.

Of the nine groups from Ohio and Kentucky screened by the IRS Cincinnati office at the center of the ongoing controversy surrounding the agency, only two of those organizations applied for nonprofit status on their own. And both were subject to subsequent inappropriate questions and attention, while the other seven did not appear to suffer that fate.

Neither the Kentucky 912 Project out of Lexington nor the Ohio Liberty Coalition out of Columbus had legal representation from the start, and neither had substantial financial backing, while the other seven appeared on paper to be better represented and organized, leading at least one lawmaker to accuse the IRS of "bullying" smaller groups.