IRS Admits Targeting Conservative Political Groups During 2012 Election

The Internal Revenue Service says it's sorry, but that comes too late for several conservative political groups.{} The IRS on Friday admitted it targeted them during the 2012 elections and issued a public apology.

The IRS admitted it singled out groups if they had the words "tea party" or "patriot" in the applications they had to submit when requesting tax-exempt status from the IRS.

The IRS also admitted it inappropriately "flagged" some conservative groups, going so far as to ask for their lists of donors which is against IRS policy in most cases.

Lois Lerner heads the IRS division that watches over tax-exempt groups.{} During a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association, she said, as far as the IRS activity during the last election concerning conservative groups, "That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review".

She added, "The IRS would like to apologize for that."{} She also claimed that there was no political bias in the targeting.

About 75 conservative groups were targeted.{} Several Republican lawmakers are asking the White House to investigate.