The list of conservative, political, patriotic, and religious groups targeted by the IRS is steadily growing. Besides harassing conservative and patriotic groups requesting non-profit status, the IRS also launched a campaign of questionable audits of many of Mitt Romney’s large campaign donors and other political groups. The IRS even targeted the American Legion and placed unreasonable demands on them.
Now you can add a family run non-profit ministry from Tennessee to the list of those that have been targeted by the IRS based upon their political and religious views rather than on the legal requirements enforced by the IRS. HaYovel Ministry was founded by Tommy and Sherri Waller to help small independent farmers in Israel to be more productive.
Their farm is in Amish/Mennonite country in Tennessee and they live completely off the grid without electricity or running water. They farming style is completely organic, lacking any of the commercial fertilizers or insecticides. The couple decided that they wanted to share their techniques and success with the small farmers in Israel to help the prophetic restoration of the nation of Israel.
In 2010, the New York Times featured their ministry and farm in an article entitled Tax-Exempt Funds Aid Settlements in West Bank. Within a few months, the Waller’s were audited by the IRS.
This may not sound like targeting to some, but Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Roger Byron says it was. The IRS rarely audits companies and non-profits that are less than five years old, but they did audit the Waller’s ministry in that time frame. Byron explained to OneNewsNow:
“They received only ten days’ notice and it was conducted, of all times, [during] the week of Christmas. Now the audit was also conducted within the organization’s first five years of existence, which is a time that audits are extremely rare. The entire event – particularly the timing – was extremely suspicious.”
The Liberty Institute has requested documents through the Freedom of Information Act from the IRS, State Department and the Treasury Department. Their purpose is to determine if there was any connection between the New York Times article and the Obama administration’s stance on Israeli settlements on the West Bank and the sudden and unusual audit by the IRS.
“It’s no secret that the IRS has come under scrutiny recently regarding questionable practices. And we want to determine whether HaYovel was intentionally targeted because of its commitment to assist Israeli farmers with their farming practices.”
Their legal course of action will depend upon what they discover in the documents they receive and review. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the government does not supply them with any damaging documents that will implicate them in targeting the Israeli friendly ministry. This administration has a history of non-compliance with providing anything that will show their criminal actions.