IRS Charts a Path Forward with Immediate Actions


The IRS outlined actions and next steps to fix problems uncovered with the IRS’ review of tax-exempt applications and improve the wider processes and operations in place at the IRS. The report released by former Principal Deputy Commissioner Danny Werfel reflects important findings, aggressive actions and the next steps to help the IRS make improvements. Other documents give specific highlights of those findings and actions.

The following table represents the current status of recommended actions from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration's (TIGTA) report on IRS's tax-exempt area. The status of the recommended actions were updated monthly. Use the link in the Status column to view the historical updates for each recommendation.

Recommended Actions Status

All recommendations are closed as of Jan. 31, 2014. In Recommendation 7, we reported on the number of original backlog cases that were closed monthly through March 23, 2018. This information will be updated when there is new information available.

No. Recommendation Lead ECD Status*
1 Ensure that the memorandum requiring the Director, Rulings and Agreements, to approve all original entries and changes to criteria included on the BOLO listing prior to implementation be formalized in the appropriate Internal Revenue Manual. Director, Exempt Organizations



2 Develop procedures to better document the reason(s) applications are chosen for review by the team of specialists (e.g., evidence of specific political campaign intervention in the application file or specific reasons the EO function may have for choosing to review the application further based on past experience). Director, Exempt Organizations 09/30/2013 Completed
3 Develop training or workshops to be held before each election cycle including, but not limited to, the proper ways to identify applications that require review of political campaign intervention activities. Director, Exempt Organizations 01/31/2014 Completed
4 Develop a process for the Determinations Unit to formally request assistance from the Technical Unit and the Guidance Unit. The process should include actions to initiate, track, and monitor requests for assistance to ensure that requests are responded to timely. Director, Exempt Organizations



5 Develop guidance for specialists on how to process requests for tax-exempt status involving potentially significant political campaign intervention. This guidance should also be posted to the Internet to provide transparency to organizations on the application process. Director, Exempt Organizations



6 Develop training or workshops to be held before each election cycle including, but not limited to: a) what constitutes political campaign intervention versus general advocacy (including case examples) and b) the ability to refer for follow-up those organizations that may conduct activities in a future year which may cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. Director, Exempt Organizations 01/31/2014 Completed
7 Provide oversight to ensure that potential political cases, some of which have been in process for three years, are approved or denied expeditiously. Director, Exempt Organizations 01/31/2014 Completed
8 Recommend to IRS Chief Counsel and the Department of the Treasury that guidance on how to measure the “primary activity” of I.R.C. § 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations be included for consideration in the Department of the Treasury Priority Guidance Plan. Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities 05/03/2013 Completed
9 The Director, EO, should develop training or workshops to be held before each election cycle including, but not limited to, how to word questions in additional information request letters and what additional information should be requested. Director, Exempt Organizations 01/31/2014 Completed

* Green = On schedule; Yellow = Behind schedule; Red = Significant issues