WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the IRS says his agency has eliminated a huge processing backlog of groups seeking tax-exempt status.

WASHINGTON (AP) The head of the IRS says his agency has eliminated a huge processing backlog of groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Claims by tea party organizations that they were singled out for tough treatment when they applied for that designation were at the heart of a 2013 controversy over the agency.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in prepared remarks at the National Press Club on Tuesday that there once was a backlog of over 60,000 applications for tax-exempt status.

Koskinen says his agency has developed faster processes including a shorter application form. He said that as a result, the IRS inventory of applications is now current.

A conservative legal center leading a federal lawsuit against the IRS says one group it represents is still waiting for an IRS ruling after five years.