An IRS official invoked his right not to answer questions at a congressional hearing, a day after a Republican report accused the official of inappropriately awarding federal contracts worth millions of dollars.
The National Taxpayer Advocate says the IRS has long resisted efforts by her office to help groups seeking tax-exempt status, creating a culture that enabled agents to improperly target such organizations for additional scrutiny.
IRS chief Danny Werfel said The Internal Revenue Service's screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed. An internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press said that besides "tea party," lists used by screeners to pick groups for close examination also included the terms "Israel," ''Progressive" and "Occupy." The document said an investigation into why specific terms were included was still underway.