IRS Commissioner of Non-Profits During Scandal Years Now Runs IRS Affordable Care Act Office, Of Course

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 16 2013 7:39 PM

IRS Commissioner of Non-Profits During Scandal Years Now Runs IRS Affordable Care Act Office, Of Course

Inspired by ABC News, a drama in three acts.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has selected Sarah Hall Ingram to succeed Steven T. Miller (who will become Commissioner, LMSB, which oversees tax administrations for the largest corporations and partnerships in the U.S.) as the commissioner of the Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division of the IRS.
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From May 14, 2013:

Joseph Grant, the acting commissioner of tax exempt and government entities, wrote in response to the report that the decisions were made in an attempt to increase efficiency, not to target groups with a particular political view.
"The mistakes outlined in the report resulted from the lack of a set process for working the increase in advocacy cases and insufficient sensitivity to the implications of some of the decisions made," he wrote.

Whatever happened to Sarah Hall Ingram? We have to go back in time for the third act, to March 29, 2013:

MEMORANDUM FOR ACTING DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR AUDIT

FROM:  Sarah Hall Ingram /s/ Sarah Hall Ingram
Director, Affordable Care Act Office

Of course. Two funny things about this story. One: It took six days for a media organization to notice what happened to the commissioner of the tax exempt division who'd been around at the start of the 2010-2012 "BOLO" period. Two: It took three reporters.

Can you blame the Fourth Estate, though? The "Affordable Care Act Office" isn't listed on the IRS's web site, or on its org chart. Also, the IG report on the whole affair makes no mention of Ingram. According to the report, it was "around March 1, 2010" that "the Determinations Unit Group Manager asked a specialist to search for other Tea Party or similar organizations’ applications in order to determine the scope of the issue." The report doesn't have any decision rising to the commissioner's level at all. But we know that multi-page letters with questions that Tea Partiers found invasive started going out to groups in early 2012. Ingram was testifying before Congress in her capacity as commissioner of tax-exempt/non-profit organizations as late as May 2012.

If you're in a forgiving sort of mood, Ingram's move to the Health Care office made sense, because the non-profit office had been tangled up in issues related to non-profit hospitals already. But who's in a forgiving mood these days?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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