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A protester holds a sign during a tea party IRS demonstration on May 21, 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images. A protester holds a sign during a tea party IRS demonstration on May 21, 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images.  

Conservative group suing IRS receives tax-exempt status, DOJ seeks to have case dismissed

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

The Internal Revenue Service has granted the Texas-based “election integrity” group True the Vote its tax-exempt status after more than three years, the organization announced Monday.

“We are pleased and relieved that the IRS and the DOJ are finally doing what should have been done three years ago, which is to recognize TTV as a charitable and educational organization, which we have always been and will continue to be,” Catherine Engelbrecht, president of True the Vote, said in a statement.

True the Vote filed for tax-exempt status in July 2010. When it came to light in May 2013 that the IRS was targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exemption, the organization filed suit  against the IRS in the federal district court of Washington, D.C.

The Department of Justice advised the court Friday that the IRS had granted True the Vote its tax-exempt status and filed a motion to dismiss the charges.

“Since Plaintiff filed this action, the Service has determined, with the concurrence of the United States Department of Justice, to grant Plaintiff’s application for tax-exempt status and is in the process of issuing a favorable determination letter,” DOJ wrote in its motion.

According to Cleta Mitchelle, the lead counsel for the plantiff in the case and a partner at Foley & Lardner, “this case is far from moot.”

She highlighted questions that remain to be answered, such as when True the Vote will receive its tax-exempt status letter, what the government will the damages incurred while the group waited for over three years and what will happen to the confidential information the IRS demanded and the violation of True the Vote’s employees’ rights.

“This lawsuit is about getting to the truth and we are not going to stop until we find out the answers to these and many other questions,” Mitchell said.

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