IRS chief says processing backlog gone for tax-exempt groups who were focus of 2013 uproar



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WASHINGTON — The IRS has eliminated a huge processing backlog of groups seeking tax-exempt status, the agency's chief said Tuesday. Tea party organizations' claims that they were singled out for tough treatment when they applied for that designation were at the heart of a 2013 controversy over the agency.

In remarks prepared for delivery at the National Press Club, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that there once was a backlog of over 60,000 applications for tax-exempt status. He said that because of new, faster processes including a shorter application form, "The result is that our inventory of applications is now current."

A conservative legal center leading a federal lawsuit against the IRS says one group it represents is still awaiting an IRS ruling after five years.

"The IRS commissioner continues to mislead the public regarding this unlawful targeting scheme," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.

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