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Congress Will Probe IRS Audits for Political Bias

March 25, 1997|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Congress is opening an investigation into whether the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative nonprofit groups for audits.

It's the first time since the Watergate scandal that the Joint Committee on Taxation has been ordered to investigate charges that the IRS has a political bent to its enforcement efforts, according to staff members of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. The Joint Committee on Taxation conducts research for the House and Senate tax-writing panels.

"We are troubled by recent reports alleging politically motivated treatment of certain tax-exempt organizations and individuals by the Internal Revenue Service," Rep. Bill Archer (R-Texas), the Ways and Means chairman, and Sen. William V. Roth Jr. (R-Del.), chairman of the Finance Committee, said in a letter.

The letter, dated Monday, also was signed by the panels' senior Democrats, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Rep. Charles B. Rangel, both of New York.

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