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January 17, 2014
IRS Releases EO Determinations Training Materials Under FOIA

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The IRS on January 15 released to Tax Analysts documents subject to a Freedom of Information Act request calling for training materials dating back to January 1, 2009, that the agency used to train its exempt organizations determinations unit on handling applications from organizations seeking tax exemption.

The materials consist of student guides for EO determinations units 1a and 1b; learning objectives and course requirements for units 1a and 1b; sample case processing forms for exemption applications, including attachments to Form 6038; teaching materials and objectives for instruction on section 501(c)(4) organizations; definitions of relevant "EO measurement" terms like "solely," and "primarily," and their corresponding activity percentages; and training materials for EO determinations specialists in Unit 1, including on-the-job training. The documents released on January 15 primarily date from 2009, before the determinations office began its controversial application review policies.

Tax Analysts requested the documents in May 2013 following the controversy over the determinations office's handling of exemption applications from conservative organizations. Tax Analysts brought suit against the Service in August, seeking to compel expedited processing of the request. The IRS released roughly 1,000 pages in September, followed by another 1,800 pages in November. A judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on January 7 ordered the IRS to produce outstanding documents in response to the FOIA request by January 15. (Prior coverage 2013-26049.)

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