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Watchdog group sues IRS for release of tax returns sought by the president

If President Barack Obama has been looking at your taxes, the D.C.-based watchdog group Cause of Action wants to know about it.

The group filed a suit Tuesday morning against the Internal Revenue Service over refusing to release the names of businesses and individuals whose returns interest the president.

“We’re concerned with the transparency of the president’s administration. We think that the administration should have to disclose the names for individuals and companies that it’s requesting tax records for,” Karen Groen, chief oversight counsel at Cause of Action told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Aware of the fact that federal law allows the president to seek IRS information from tax returns, Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information Act request this April to investigate whether or not the president has done this, and if so, whose taxes is he looking out.

The IRS denied Cause of Action’s request, signaling to the group that something more was going on.

“The IRS claimed an exemption basically saying these requests, when the president writes in and requests some one’s tax record, that is the equivalent of a tax record itself, and it’s entitled to the same privacy,” Groen told TheDC News Foundation. “We obviously disagree.”

The group cited transparency in its reasoning.

“Our main goal is transparency and this administration has pledged to be the most transparent in history. We are just trying to hold the administration accountable for its promise,” Groen told TheDC News Foundation.

Groen told TheDC News Foundation she was  unsure what the president’s motivations were for seeking the tax record for individuals.

“Obviously he doesn’t have to disclose his reasons,” she said. “But by disclosing the names, that’s up to the public to conclude for themselves”

“The issue of tax returns and personal tax information has roiled the current presidential race — with Obama and Mitt Romney tangling over the GOP nominee’s personal finances,” Politico reported.

UPDATE: The IRS provided The Daily Caller News Foundation with this statement regarding the Cause of Action litigation: “The IRS does not comment on pending litigation. However, the IRS can confirm that no requests were made, and no tax returns or return information have been disclosed under Internal Revenue Code 6103 (g) during the period in question.  Federal law provides under Internal Revenue Code 6103 (g) a provision for the President of the United States to request and receive federal tax return information. “

 

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