Americans Don’t Want the IRS Looking At Their Private Data
Ways and Means Republicans heard from expert witnesses during an Oversight Subcommittee Republican Roundtable examining the devastating consequences of President Biden’s scheme to surveil the bank accounts of hard-working Americans.
The American people are right to oppose Democrats’ plan to turn local banks into chapters of the IRS under the guise of closing the “tax gap” — an argument founded upon disputed, outdated estimates.
As Democrats disagree over the details for the de minimis threshold, moderate Democrats know that this proposal is too dangerous to pass. Senator Manchin has said that he won’t support any bank reporting proposal, even with a higher threshold.
During the roundtable, Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) said:
“It does not matter if it’s one dollar, six hundred, ten thousand, or a million. Americans don’t want the IRS looking at their private bank data. They don’t want the IRS to look at their bank accounts.”
CLICK HERE to watch the full meeting.
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Jim Edwards, CEO of United Bank said:
“I want to begin by making clear that taxpayers should live up to their tax obligations, and reducing the tax gap is certainly a worthwhile goal. But unfortunately, the administration’s approach simply casts too wide a net. This is going to affect millions of ordinary law-abiding taxpayers and put their privacy at risk.
“It will also impose new costs on community banks like ours, and more importantly it will damage our bank-customer relationships that we worked so hard to build.”
Clem Rosenberger, President & CEO of NexTier Bank, said:
“A customer who goes out on a date night, pays for dinner, pays for movie tickets, pays for a babysitter — that’s not a taxable event. Yet we’re being told by the Treasury Department that this is something that should be aggregated and reported on.”
Robert Fisher, President & CEO of Tioga State Bank, said:
“There are many reasons to object to the IRS reporting. It would deprive Americans of their fundamental privacy and due process rights. It would jeopardize trust in the financial institutions and drive more Americans out of the banking system.”
“A threshold of $10,000 would capture every worker with minimum wage level deposits over the course of a year. Attempts to exempt payroll and other deposits are essentially unworkable because it’s impossible to identify such payments reliably or consistently.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) warned that Dems’ proposal “would really hit the middle class, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and farmers. I think people would be running around scared of the IRS and the government at all points.”
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE) pointed out that the IRS, which already struggled to deal with rampant fraud and a backlog of over 8 million tax returns last year, would see, “a log jam of information. I mean there would be disputes galore.”
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) said:
“This is vast government overreach that would endanger the privacy of virtually every American and subject them to increased levels of IRS intrusion. The Democrats’ proposal would turn financial institutions in my district into local arms of the IRS with the purpose of reporting information back to the government. This is particularly alarming given the IRS’ troubled record of failures to safeguard sensitive taxpayer information.
“This proposal would be a nightmare for small financial institutions to administer and could even weaken customers’ trust in them. Worst of all, this terrifying proposal is more evidence of the liberal scheme to encroach on our rights, and secure more control over American lives from cradle to grave.”
Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) emphasized that the American people are terrified of Democrats’ plan to turn local banks into a branch of the IRS:
“One of the things I’m hearing from people is that they fear that this surveillance of their bank accounts is going to open them up to further liability and further issues of inquiries. And they’re actually taking their money out of their bank accounts.”
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) added:
“Hard-working Americans are going to pay the price for the Democrats’ radical agenda. Their newest proposal is ill-conceived and poorly thought out. President Biden and Washington Democrats want to weaponize local banks, turning them into the newest enforcement arm of the IRS by creating a new reporting threshold on gross inflows and outflows of personal or business financial accounts.”
Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) said:
“The IRS is the only entity I know of who can come and seize your assets without a hearing. All they want here is more information. They can get that information if they suspect a problem by doing an audit. They want blanket information on every single taxpayer.”
“It’s more fodder for abuse. I don’t believe we should give one more inch of power to the unelected bureaucrats at the IRS.”