Conservative groups are having a political pay day over Internal Revenue Service investigations of them. Conservative groups may have legitimate grievances, but it may not be simple to confirm.
If it has been or is happening, it could have a political motive. But, it may also be the product of data mining. If it is data mining, the origin is what we would call efficiency.
The same issue arose in the selection of people to screen at airports. Men who looked like they may be Muslim were targeted for a while. We all know why, but that does not mean it was a productive use of security personnel.
I understand the IRS uses data mining also for selecting tax returns to dig into. For example, home offices is a deduction often used and often abused. For that reason, a home office deduction will more likely trigger a second look than a return without this deduction.
I’ve heard one is more likely subject to audit if he/she does not employ a tax professional on the return. That’s because it is more efficient use of IRS emplyee’s time to look at likely targets. If the IRS does not catch people who cheat on taxes, what is the point of paying people to look.
I remember any number of liberal people who believe they were audited because of donations to liberal groups. I can’t recall it ever being confirmed the IRS audited on the basis of political leanings. That doesn’t mean it never happened.