Christian groups are among perceived conservatives complaining of being targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, the government agency responsible for tax collection in the United States.
President Barack Obama pledged that IRS employees who discriminated against groups such as the Tea Party will be held to account after an independent regulator strongly criticised the tax organisation for “inappropriate” behaviour.
The IRS apologized last week for the actions of low level staffers in its Cincinnati, Ohio branch, who were harassing groups they believed were affiliated with conservative politics.
Groups with the name “tea party” or “patriot” in their names were among those singled out by IRS staffers.
The groups targeted were seeking tax exempt status as charitable or social welfare organizations under U.S. laws.
The admission by the IRS has grown into a full-blown scandal in Washington, as more and more reports are revealing that such efforts by its employees extended beyond the Cincinnati bureau.