Politics
Ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller, center, flanked by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, right, and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, listens on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, May 21, 2013, during the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practice of targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

IRS slow-walks tax-exempt status for Wyoming conservative think tank

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

The Wyoming Policy Institute received its first letter requesting additional information about its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt application from the Internal Revenue Service last week — after a year-and-a-half of waiting.

Janie White, the Wyoming Policy Institute’s executive director and self-described tea party member since 2009, believes that her Wyoming think tank has been the subject of IRS slow-walking and targeting.

White and some of her friends started the Wyoming Policy Institute, and sent in an application for 501(c)(3) status in November of 2011.

“Our application, I thought, was pretty extensive,” White told The Daily Caller in an interview.

White noted, however, that the organization’s mission statement includes some of the buzz words IRS officials were on the look out for beginning in January of 2012, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s recently released report on conservative targeting.

“The Wyoming Policy Institute is an educational organization that analyzes policies from the federal, state and local levels and educates the public on how those policies can affect free market principles; government fiscal responsibility; a limited transparent accountable government; strong families and individual responsibility,” the group’s mission statement reads. “We advance and defend traditional American liberty and heritage.”

In May of 2012, White explained that she received a letter notifying her that the Wyoming Policy Institute’s application has been assigned to an IRS employee. White then began to attempt a friendly relationship with the IRS official handling her group’s case.

“I immediately start calling this woman, asking, ‘So, how’s it going? Are there any questions? How long do you think it is going to take?’ She’s been very sweet, she really has,” White said of the IRS employee handling her case, Faye Ng, a Cincinnati IRS employee named Monday in another conservative organization’s lawsuit against the IRS.

White’s paperwork however has been addressed from an IRS P.O. Box in Covington, Ky.

When White had waited nearly a year she began calling Ng “nearly every week,” to explain that the difficulties the delay in status had been having on the think tank.

“Every week I’m calling her and I’m telling her, look, I can’t apply for any grants, which means I can’t hire anybody,” White said.