Tea party groups get $3.5 million payout in settlement with IRS

Tea Party flag

A judge gave final approval on the settlement between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and hundreds of tea party groups  groups across the country. The decision closes the class action suit, which lasted more than five years, that alleged the IRS illegally targeted the conservative groups when applying for tax-exempt status during the 2012 election.

The IRS agreed to pay $3.5 million to the disgruntled, targeted groups.

“It shows that when a government agency desires to target citizens based on their viewpoints, a price will be paid,” said Edward Greim, a lawyer who led the class-action case in federal court in Cincinnati, according to the Washington Times.

Judge Michael R. Barrett deemed the settlement “fair, reasonable and adequate.”

History of IRS targeting tea party groups

Republicans were outraged in 2013 when the IRS admitted the targeting, in part by zeroing in on groups with words such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. Many had their applications delayed for months and years. Some were asked improper questions about their donors and even their religious practices, an inspector general’s report found.
The Obama Justice Department announced in 2015 that no one at the IRS would be prosecuted. It said investigators found mismanagement but no evidence that the tax agency had targeted a political group based on its viewpoints or obstructed justice.