A hawkish pro-Israel group, Z Street, based in Pennsylvania, has filed a lawsuit against the IRS claiming its application for tax-exempt/nonprofit status has been delayed it claims for political reasons, Ben Smith reports:
The group Z Street, intended as a conservative Zionist answer to the liberal J Street, says in its complaint that its counsel was informed that its status as a tax-exempt group was delayed, and could be denied, because of that scrutiny.
Agent Diane Gentry told the group’s lawyer that the IRS is “carefully scrutinizing organizations that are in any way connected with Israel,” the complaint, filed in federal district court in Pennsylvania, says. “Agent Gentry further stated to counsel for Z STREET: ‘these cases are being sent to a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the administration’s public policies.'”
An IRS spokesman said he would look into the claim, and I’ll update with his response when I have it.
From the group’s complaint, it seemed the IRS was trying to determine whether the group met the legal requirements of being a 501(c)(3), chiefly educational organization, or was a lobbying or action outfit: