After a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the Internal Revenue Service improperly targeted groups like the Tea Party and other conservatives, a watchdog within the organization is calling for a cash apology.
In a report filed on Wednesday, the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office that functions within the IRS, requested that it receive authorization to make "apology payments" of up to $1,000 in cases in which "the IRS has caused excessive expense or undue burden to the taxpayer, and the taxpayer has experienced a significant hardship."
Nina Olson runs the NTA. She said that her office first spoke with the IRS about its slow handling of tax-exempt status requests in 2007 and that the agency's Exempt Organizations told her that she had no authority to intervene in such cases.
"The attitude that [Exempt Organizations] does not have to be responsive to [the Taxpayer Advocate] permeated the organization and persists to this day, with one EO employee recently complaining about being 'so tired of you calling,"' the report said.
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According to Olson, problems at the IRS go deeper than that.
“The real crisis facing the IRS — and therefore taxpayers — is a radically transformed mission coupled with inadequate funding to accomplish that mission," Olson said.
Danny Werfel, the acting commissioner of the IRS, has promised to work with the Taxpayer Advocate "to improve education inside and outside the IRS about taxpayer rights."
"We also agree on other areas, including the need to do a better job of reducing the backlog of [tax-exempt] applications," Werfel said.
Although the IRS has been receiving criticism for going after conservatives for weeks now, the organization recently released documents showing that progressive and liberal groups might have been improperly singled out as well, Fox News reported.