Politics
U.S. Army Korean War veteran Frank-Squirrel looks on before the start of the annual Veterans Day parade Nov. 11, 2009. Mario Tama/Getty Images. U.S. Army Korean War veteran Frank-Squirrel looks on before the start of the annual Veterans Day parade Nov. 11, 2009. Mario Tama/Getty Images.  

IRS is targeting the American Legion with new set of guidelines

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The Internal Revenue Service is targeting the veterans’ organization the American Legion, and a U.S. senator believes that Lois Lerner — a key figure in the IRS scandal – is to blame.

“The IRS now requires American Legion posts to maintain dates of service and character of service records for all members… The penalty for not having the required proof of eligibility is, apparently, $1,000 per day,” the American Legion stated.

The American Legion was referring to a 13-part section of Part 4, Chapter 76 of the Internal Revenue Manual pertaining to “veterans’ organizations.”

The section falls under “Exempt Organizations Examination Guidelines,” which is the jurisdiction of Exempt Organizations head Lois Lerner, who apologized for improperly targeting tea party groups and tried to plead the Fifth Amendment in a congressional hearing.

“The American Legion has recently learned of the so-called IRS ‘audit manual’ and is concerned that portions of it attempt to amend statutes passed by Congress and approved by the president,” American Legion legal counsel Philip Onderdonk, Jr. told The Daily Caller.

“Resolutions recommending action by the Legion’s legislative division on two of the most egregious sections of the IRS document are being presented for a vote by members at The American Legion’s annual national convention in Houston [this] week. If the resolutions are adopted, the Legion will be empowered as a body to urge correction of the veterans service organization-related portion(s) of the IRS manual and suggest congressional review of the entire 38 section IRS document,” Onderdonk said.

“On the heels of Americans’ anger over revelations that the IRS intentionally targeted certain groups, it has been brought to my attention that the IRS is now turning their sights toward our nation’s veterans,” Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran said. “The IRS seems to be auditing veteran service organizations by requiring private member military service forms.”

“If a post is unable or not willing to turn over this personal information, it’s possible they could face a fine of $1,000 per day,” Moran continued.

“I am deeply concerned about this revelation and will insist on answers. This policy seems to be crafted with the oversight of Lois Lerner and deserves, at a minimum, a thorough look to make certain the IRS is not overstepping bounds of privacy and respect for our nation’s heroes,” Moran added.

The American Legion, headquartered in Indianapolis, was founded in 1919 as a social and support group for veterans returning from World War I. It is now one of the leading nonpartisan forces lobbying for veterans rights.

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