It’s taken nearly eight years, but the Internal Revenue Service finally granted tax-exempt status to a Tea Party group in what lawyers representing the group on Wednesday called a “major victory for free speech.”
Graham Bartlett, president of the local Tea Party, said he was informed about a month ago that the group’s request was going through, The Albuquerque Journal reported.
The group filed its request in December 2009. Several months later, the IRS demanded more documentation concerning the organization’s activities. The group complied, but then the IRS requested even more documentation. The Tea Party provided more than 1,000 pages of documentation about the group’s activities. Eventually, it filed a lawsuit against the IRS.
“What I understand is the IRS was targeting any organization that had the name ‘Tea Party’ in it or the word ‘conservative,'” Bartlett said. “We weren’t the only ones.”
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