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Politics 21 House Democrats Condemn Plans for IRS to Monitor Bank Accounts

14:06  28 october  2021
14:06  28 october  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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A group of 21 Democrats in the House of Representatives called for a proposal for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to monitor Americans' bank accounts to be withdrawn.

The Internal Revenue Service headquarters building appeared to be mostly empty April 27, 2020 in the Federal Triangle section of Washington, DC. A group of Democrats has called for a plan to monitor bank accounts to be withdrawn. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The Internal Revenue Service headquarters building appeared to be mostly empty April 27, 2020 in the Federal Triangle section of Washington, DC. A group of Democrats has called for a plan to monitor bank accounts to be withdrawn.

The Democrats sent a letter on Wednesday to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Representative Richard Neal, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

The plan would require financial institutions to report to the IRS once a year on the total amount of money that has gone into and out of bank, loan and investment accounts that hold at least $10,000, or have inflow and outflow of at least $10,000.

Democrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks

  Democrats narrow scope of IRS proposal amid GOP attacks Democrats on Tuesday narrowed the scope of a proposal to increase the amount of information the IRS receives about bank accounts, amid a massive lobbying effort against the proposal from banks and Republicans that threatens to jeopardize its prospects.Democrats are seeking to blunt the attacks, stressing that the proposal is aimed at strengthening the IRS's ability to enforce tax laws against wealthy tax cheats."Despite what opponents say,Democrats are seeking to blunt the attacks, stressing that the proposal is aimed at strengthening the IRS's ability to enforce tax laws against wealthy tax cheats.

The representatives wrote to Pelosi and Neal to "express our concern" about the plan, which is intended to be included in the proposed $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act.

"We respectfully request that this proposal be withdrawn from further consideration in favor of a more targeted approach," the Democrats said.

"While the intent of this proposal is to ensure all taxpayers meet their obligations—a goal we

strongly share—the data that would be turned over to the IRS is overly broad and raises significant privacy concerns.

"We have little information about how the IRS plans to protect or use this massive trove of data. Americans expect their bank or credit union to safeguard their financial information. This proposal would erode trust in financial services providers," they said.

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  Washington Post fact-checker goes to bat for IRS spying proposal The "fact-checking” genre is one of the most reliably dishonest and worthless forms of journalism. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Washington Post published a fact-check this week flunking Republican Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho and John Kennedy of Louisiana for accurately criticizing the Biden administration’s since-amended proposal to empower the IRS to collect data on all bank accounts that see more than $600 in annual transactions. This is not a lie or hyperbole. The White House absolutely did propose this.

The 21 representatives said that "hundreds of thousands of constituents have reached out to our offices" to express their concerns and opposition to the proposal.

"We have also heard from a wide range of constituent companies and small businesses about the significant burden and potential unintended consequences that could result from the new reporting regime," they said.

The original proposal would have seen financial institutions reporting on accounts that hold at least $600 or have inflow and outflow of at least $600, but the Treasury Department amended the plan last week and raised that figure to $10,000. The purpose of the new reporting mechanisms is to tackle tax evasion.

The Democrats acknowledged the change in their letter, but noted that even with the change "a significant number of taxpayers will continue to meet the reporting criteria."

"Most of these taxpayers are not the wealthy tax evaders who are the stated targets of this proposal," they wrote.

Republicans Sound Alarm on IRS Account Monitoring Proposal: ‘Unwarranted Snooping’

  Republicans Sound Alarm on IRS Account Monitoring Proposal: ‘Unwarranted Snooping’ The proposal would allow the IRS to monitor transactions in bank accounts holding more than $600.Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming argued to Fox Business that the proposal, which would allow the IRS to monitor all transactions in bank accounts with more than $600, normalizes a level of data extraction from average Americans that is a major encroachment into the private sector and personal liberties.

The letter concluded by saying: "Given the privacy concerns this raises in addition to the significant burden that would be imposed on a broad range of businesses and financial institutions, we respectfully request that this proposal not be included in the Build Back Better package."

The 21 Democrats who signed the letter were: Lou Correa of California, Cindy Axne of Iowa, Ami Bera of California, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, Sanford Bishop of Georgia,, Salud Carbajal of California, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire, Al Lawson of Florida, Susie Lee of Nevada, Stephanie Murphy of Florida, Tom O'Halleran of Arizona, Chris Pappas of New Hampshire, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, Elaine Luria of Virginia, Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deborah Ross of North Carolina.

A group of 25 Republican senators, including every GOP member of the Senate Banking Committee, urged Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to drop the initial $600 proposal in a letter last month.

Democrats' bank-spying proposal is not about wealthy tax cheats — it's about you

  Democrats' bank-spying proposal is not about wealthy tax cheats — it's about you This weekend, Binyamin Appelbaum argued in the New York Times that Republicans, in opposing the Democrats' proposal to monitor bank accounts with certain minimum transactions, are abetting tax evasion. © Provided by Washington Examiner The IRS, he notes, has recently estimated that nearly half of all income not reported independently on W-2 or 1099 forms goes unreported. Therefore, give the government access to your banking habits, or else you're a criminal. In logic, this is known as the "false choice" fallacy, and it is one of several that he commits in this piece.

The Republicans called the plan an "unprecedented proposal to expand the reporting of the private, confidential financial data of law-abiding Americans."

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