published Monday, June 24th, 2013

New IRS chief: Inappropriate screening was broader

 In this June 6, 2013 file photo, acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Werfel unveils his plan to fix an agency besieged by scandal. President Barack Obama ordered Werfel to conduct a 30-day review of the IRS when he appointed him last month. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
In this June 6, 2013 file photo, acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Werfel unveils his plan to fix an agency besieged by scandal. President Barack Obama ordered Werfel to conduct a 30-day review of the IRS when he appointed him last month. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

By ALAN FRAM

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The head of the Internal Revenue Service says inappropriate screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than was previously disclosed.

Danny Werfel told reporters today that after becoming acting IRS chief last month, he discovered inappropriate and wide-ranging criteria in lists screeners use to single out groups for careful examinations. He did not specify what terms were on the lists.

Werfel’s comments suggest the IRS may have been targeting groups other than tea party and other conservative organizations for tough examinations to see if they qualify. The agency has been under fire since last month for targeting those groups.

Werfel said he has suspended use of those lists. Investigators have previously said agency officials abolished targeting of conservative groups in those lists in May 2012.

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