An obscure bureaucratic policy that allowed IRS officials to target conservative and tea party tax-exemption applicants during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns is still in place, meaning the same abuses may be continuing, according to a nonprofit government watchdog.

The federal tax agency’s policy requires IRS officials to stop processing tax-exempt applications that are “likely to attract media or congressional attention,” the Cause of Action Institute said in a report made public Wednesday.

The policy also directs IRS officials to prepare “sensitive case reports” for their supervisors and to ignore “the merits of the application” if it involves a newsworthy topic.

“Targeting was—and is—IRS policy, not a violation of it,” the report said, noting that the policy is still in place. “As a result, American taxpayers are at risk for similar treatment in the future.”

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