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PETA calls for probe into past IRS audits

May 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it has been the victim of politically-motivated attacks by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

PETA says a government probe into IRS activity against conservative groups should be expanded to include an analysis of three audits that targeted PETA's tax-exempt status.

"I can assure you that targeted misconduct by the IRS is neither new nor limited to conservative causes," said Jeffrey Kerr, general counsel to PETA, in a letter Thursday to the U.S. Treasury Department.

"PETA's harassment by the IRS includes the 20-month audit in 2003 to 2005 and another in 2009, both of which resulted from what the IRS agents admitted -- and we have verified from Freedom of Information Act materials -- were politically motivated attacks and pressure by members of Congress who were doing the bidding of the meat, dairy, experimentation, tobacco, and other industries whose animal-abusing practices PETA opposes," said Kerr.

"PETA came through all three audits with a clean bill of health but endured an unconscionable diversion of charity resources to fend off these attacks on its tax-exempt status, which were reminiscent of the Nixon years and tactics more commonly attributed to totalitarian regimes."

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