Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
December 15, 2010 - 12:00am
http://www.jta.org/news/article/2010/12/15/2742185/irs-no-special-policy-for-pro...


In affidavits, Internal Revenue Service officials denied telling a pro-Israel group that they checked whether such groups applying for tax-exempt status oppose the administration.

“Z Street's application was not referred to the TAG group because of an ‘Israel Special Policy’ as alleged in Z Street's complaint,” Jon Waddell, the manager of the Exempt Organizations Determinations Group, said. TAG is an acronym for Touch and Go, the informal name for the Exempt Organizations Determinations Group, according to a report Tuesday by Politico.

“Z Street's application was not referred to the TAG group because its viewpoints on Israel contradict the viewpoints espoused by the Obama administration,” Waddell said.

In a separate affidavit, Diane Gentry, the specialist who communicated with Z Street’s lawyer, denied claiming to the lawyer that there was a special policy for pro-Israel groups or that groups opposed to administration Middle East policy are given special scrutiny.

Instead, Waddell said, Z Street was referred to his TAG group because of a policy in which organizations that could potentially provide services to nations that have a “high risk of terrorism” are subject to further review.

The affidavits are part of the government’s response to a Z Street lawsuit seeking relief for the delay. Z Street applied to the IRS for tax-exempt status on Dec. 29, 2009. It has yet to receive a determination.

Z Street posted the affidavits and other materials related to the case, with commentary, on its website.




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