Maryland residents may recall the controversy surrounding conservative groups that may have received extra scrutiny from the IRS. However, other groups had also drawn scrutiny from the IRS as well. An audit revealed that groups seeking tax-exempt status with words such as progressive in them were also given looked at harder. The audit was conducted by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration after a bipartisan group in the Senate asked for it.
However, those who represent conservative groups targeted by the federal government claim that they were still treated unfairly. An attorney for eight such groups says that they were asked to reveal their communications about items such as the Affordable Care Act. The attorney also claimed that those aligned with the Tea Party were asked for additional information that progressive groups likely were not subject to.
The director of the IRS became a target for conservative criticism, and President Obama took steps to change leadership within the IRS. Hearings into the matter took place over the course of three years starting back in 2013. In 2017, the committee chairman for the House Ways and Means Committee asked the Department of Justice to prosecute the former IRS director. However, the DOJ declined to take such action.
Those who are subject to a tax audit may want to have legal assistance. An attorney may offer advice for how to deal with information requests from the IRS. Legal counsel may also take an active role in negotiations to resolve an audit. In some cases, taxpayers may elect to have their legal representative negotiate on their behalf. This may help to limit the scope of the audit.