Skip to content

Brady: IRS Surveillance Program Still Targets Families, Farmers, and Small Businesses

October 20, 2021

Responding to congressional Democrats’ so-called “scaled back” IRS surveillance proposal, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement:

“Democrats are doing all of this in secret, but what we know is that they insist on hiring 80,000 more IRS agents to unleash on American taxpayers and this troubling new IRS bank surveillance scheme that targets farmers, families and small businesses.

“Their attempts at ‘scaling back’ are meaningless. This is still a dangerous invasion of your privacy. As little as $200 a week of spending could trigger IRS surveillance. It’s especially frightening for hairdressers, plumbers, gig workers and anyone who earns their living outside a payroll system – they’ve got a big target on their back.”

READ MORE: Opposing Biden’s Bank Surveillance Scheme


Under the guise of going after the “tax gap,” President Biden wants to spend $80 billion on an army of auditors and to turn local banks into chapters of the IRS to report on the gross transactions of your personal and business bank account. Ways and Means Republicans are fighting this dangerous overreach with a new bill.

Here are the facts:

Under Biden’s plan, audits will increase for taxpayers at all income levels and farmers, families, and small businesses are the true targets of this dangerous expansion of IRS.

  • Nonpartisan CBO analysis assumes that, under the President’s proposal, audit rates would “rise for all taxpayers”–including EITC audits and those of other lower and middle-income workers.
  • As Republicans write in a recent letter, “Even the $10,000 de minimis annual threshold would sweep up the bank information of nearly every American with a job.”
  • According to local banks, the President’s financial reporting regime would expand the types of account holders currently subject to reporting and would require significant system changes.
  • Because the reporting is different from current reporting, taxpayers will face substantial increases in tax preparation time and costs.

READ: The Numbers in Biden’s Invasive Tax Gap Plan Don’t Add Up

Despite the claims made in a September press conference, Biden’s proposal requires more than two pieces of data from bank accounts. It demands unlimited transaction level information from both individual and business bank accounts.

  • The details of President Biden’s invasive request for a bank “reporting regime” have been hidden from the public, and congressional Democrats have promised to move forward on it long after committee work on the bill has been done.
  • Democrats even voted against Rep. Jodey Arrington’s (TX-19) amendment that would have prevented more tax provisions, such as the bank reporting proposal, from being added to the text.

FACT CHECK: Biden’s Supercharged IRS Includes Bank Reporting, Hardships for Taxpayers

There’s little reason to believe in the IRS’s capacity to protect this unprecedented amount of personal banking information.

  • The IRS has so far been unable to report on what exactly was stolen during its recent leak of private tax return data. It also recently denied tax exempt status to a non-profit organization on the basis that certain bible teachings are “affiliated with the [Republican] party and candidates.”
  • The last time President Biden was in the White House, the IRS spent years targeting conservative tax-exempt groups. In a special Ways and Means Republican Meeting, victims of the IRSsaid that “despite the fact that we have a consent decree entered into federal court dealing with the IRS’s targeting of the conservative groups, Tea Party groups, and pro-life groups, that I believe the IRS is institutionally incapable of self-correcting.”
  • Given the agency’s inability to protect confidential taxpayer data over the last decade, the American people are rightfully concerned about the implications of giving the IRS a vast amount of new private data.

Republicans are fighting to stop Democrats’ plan for a supercharged IRS.

  • Ways and Means Republicans introduced a bill prohibiting the Biden Administration’s plan to turn local banks into chapters of the IRS.
  • Republicans have also introduced the Tax Gap Reform and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Enforcement Act, which allows for a better understanding of the tax gap, provides smarter enforcement, ensures the IRS uses all of the resources at its disposal, and addresses the expertise gap at the IRS.