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The IRS’ Tax-Exempt Backlog Is Gone? … Really?

The following article was originally published on The Daily Signal.

Forgive me for taking any statement from the public relations department of the IRS with a grain of salt.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says that the agency has eliminated a huge processing backlog of groups seeking tax-exempt status left over from the years it spent targeting conservative and tea party groups.

That’s more than 60,000 applications that have been processed in 15 months. It would be an impressive feat, which Koskinen attributes to a shorter application form that was rolled out last year.

The problem is, the claim isn’t true. There are several groups still awaiting an IRS ruling, including the Albuquerque Tea Party  which has been waiting for over five years.

Koskinen’s spiel at the National Press Club attributed the long waiting times of some groups merely to volume and long forms, not politically motivated targeting. He said that “better training” and “better review” would ensure such alleged targeting will never happen again.

IRS employees will “let us know” when there appears to be a problem, since the agency has undergone “a re-dedication to the longstanding commitment of the IRS to be involved in tax administration, not be involved in politics.”

They’d be nice words, if they were true.

The IRS has continued to give individuals and groups who disagree with the liberal establishment a hard time. And in the same speech, Koskinen continued his support for regulations that would put even stricter limits on the activities of 501(c)(4) organizations.

Things are not as rosy at Koskinen’s IRS as the picture he paints. The backlog is not gone. Even worse, the backlash from a debacle now stretching into five years hasn’t been resolved. Neither has the eroded trust of the American people been restored in this corrupt agency.

It’s bad enough for an arm of the government to target its own people for disagreeing with its policies. It’s even worse for it to cover up wrongdoing and throw as many roadblocks as creatively possible in the way of those seeking the truth and justice in this scandal.

Koskinen has said the equivalent of “it’s over” too many times. We know better than to believe him.