The IRS’ harassment of Tea Party groups was originally thought to have been focused at groups with the buzzwords “Tea Party,” “Patriot,” or “9-12” in the organization’s name. Yet, more groups are coming forward who have had trouble with the bureaucracy.
One of the latest is American Grizzlies United. In an interview on Wednesday, Thomas Schmitz, chairman of the group, explained his current situation with the IRS. After filing a form to establish the American Grizzlies United 527 organization, he was asked for the form again. He sent it four times after receiving letters back from the agency each quarter saying he had failed to send in the form.
He has spent two years trying to establish his organization under IRS guidelines.
Since their group name does not include “Tea Party” or “Patriot,” Mr. Schmitz speculates their charter may have tipped the agency off to their right-leaning mission. The objective declared in their charter says they seek the election of “constitutional candidates.”
Schmitz began sending the forms via registered mail. Three more separate attempts were made to file the form. Receipts were sent back each time confirming delivery to the IRS office. Again, the same letter from the IRS came each quarter claiming the form was never received.
Attempts to file the form online failed at first. Support technicians for the IRS website claimed problems with the site would be “fixed soon.”
Finally, Schmitz was recently able to file the form online. Last week, Mr. Schmitz received 4 more letters in one day saying the same thing they’ve said for two years: the form he has repeatedly sent has not been received.
When the story broke last week that the IRS admitted to targeting conservatives, he said, “I was relieved to know I am not the only one!”
This week, he received four more letters. These four were new. These asked for an explanation, with the ominous implied threat “under penalty of perjury,” as to why the form “was filed late.”