ATLANTA -- The scandal swirling around the Internal Revenue Service has taken another twist as an audit reveals lavish spending on conferences, including millions spent in Atlanta.

Hearings are underway in Washington as Congress looks at the IRS targeting conservative groups.

Now, an audit conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reports the IRS spent over $48 million on conferences between 2010 and 2012.

Twenty of those conferences took place in Georgia at a cost of $4,439,169.

"When you look at the amount of money being spent, the locations they're going to, there has to be a question," said William Perry of Georgia Common Cause. "Some of the hotels on the list, it seems you could find a better choice with our tax dollars."

The Atlanta conferences include a 2010 stay at the downtown Marriott Marquis at a cost of $1,181,871. According to the audit, 800 people attended that conference.

A separate conference at the Marriott Marquis the same year cost $909,792.

Other Georgia gatherings involving the IRS include stays at the downtown Hilton, and The Ritz Carlton. The IRS also used taxpayer dollars on conferences in Savannah and at the King and Prince in St. Simons.

The IRS has responded to the audit, saying it plans to issue additional guidance when it comes to spending on conferences.

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