West Jersey Tea Party Targeted By IRS
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
May 14, 2013
A New Jersey chapter of the Tea Party is one of the groups the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting.
Bill Haney is the founder of the West Jersey Tea Party. He says the group got a letter from the IRS in 2011 requesting detailed information about its request for tax-exempt status.
“It was a very intimidating letter because they asked for all kinds of very personal information not only of me but of the members of our group. The amount of time that they had spent working for the organization, the amount of money that they had donated to the organization.”
Haney says the IRS also wanted to know about the email communications Tea Party members had with federal and state elected representatives.
“The fact that they are singling out people for their political or religious or social views is a violation of the fourth amendment. We’re promised the right of privacy and this was a violation of that right of privacy.”
Haney says the IRS letter demanded so much information that the group voted to give up seeking non-profit status.
He says the organizations targeted by the IRS are considering filing a class action lawsuit to recover the fees they paid to lawyers and accountants.