America First Legal Foundation, a nonprofit group fighting against executive overreach, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on Tuesday alleging that the IRS’ audits were targeting White and Asian Americans.
The accusation came after President Biden signed an executive order last week, which the administration claimed would promote “racial equity.” The AFL has pointed to the executive order claiming that it shows that the administration is planning on having the audits “target white, Asian, or mixed-race taxpayers.”
The order, which was signed on February 16th, would require all federal agencies to put out an annual “equity action plan” which would be focused on ensuring that the agency resources were made available to “underserved communities.”
This is not the first executive order targeting equity. In 2021, President Biden signed an executive order, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” which required agencies to launch a “whole-of-government approach to equity.”
In their filing, the group has requested access to all communication records from certain individuals at the Treasury Department and the IRS that have the following words mentioned in them: “‘discrimination,’ ‘discriminatory,’ ‘race,’ ‘racial,’ ‘ethnicity,’ ‘color,’ ‘BIPOC,’ ‘Asian’ ‘Indigenous,’ ‘Black,’ ‘Brown,’ or ‘White’ on the one hand, and ‘audit,’ ‘enforcement,’ ‘NRP,’ ‘RAAS,’ ‘algorithmic,’ ‘selection,’ ‘sampling,’ or ‘strata,’ on the other.”
It also requests communication records that date back to January 20th, 2021 all the way up to the FOIA request. The organization claims that Biden’s call for “equity assessment” could have affected the way audits are randomly performed by the IRS.