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GOP report: Tea Party got worst scrutiny

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 8:48 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were more closely scrutinized by the Internal Revenue Service than their progressive counterparts, according to a report on Tuesday by House GOP investigators.

Tea Party and other conservative groups were, on average, asked three times as many questions as progressive groups, said the report by Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee. Conservative groups were less likely to be approved for tax-exempt status and more likely to have their applications delayed, the report said.

The IRS has been under siege since May, when agency officials acknowledged that agents working in a Cincinnati office had improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. The IRS has since released documents suggesting that progressive groups may have been targeted, too.

Democrats in Congress have highlighted the possibility that liberal groups were also abused.

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