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Joe Biden wants IRS to track bank accounts with $600 or more

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Business groups warned that collecting financial information on 'nearly every American without proper explanation of how the IRS will store, protect, and use this enormous trove of personal financial information' would 'create tremendous liability.'

President Joe Biden’s plan for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to monitor banking transactions more closely is facing pushback from business groups and Republican leaders. 

Biden’s proposal, part of his plan to cover a pending $3.5 trillion social spending bill, “would require banks to turn over to the Internal Revenue Service bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600,” according to analysis by The Center Square. 

The proposal received pushback from 40 business groups who outlined the problems in a September 20 letter to U.S. House of Representative leaders. 

The Department of Treasury proposal “would require financial institutions and other providers of financial services to track and submit to the IRS information on the inflows and outflows of every account above a de minimis threshold of $600 during the year, including breakdowns for cash,” the letter signers said.  

“While the stated goal of this vast data collection is to uncover tax dodging by the wealthy, this proposal is not remotely targeted to that purpose or that population.”  

The proposed IRS mandate “would create tremendous liability for all affected parties by requiring the collection of financial information for nearly every American without proper explanation of how the IRS will store, protect, and use this enormous trove of personal financial information,” the business groups warned.   

It also raises “significant privacy concerns.” 

Supporters of the letter include banking associations, franchise trade groups, and construction industry representatives. 

Republican politicians also criticized the proposal. 

“Bank customers are not subjects to the federal government. Banks do not work for the IRS,” Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis told Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. 

“I think it’s important to recognize that we have a tax gap that’s estimated at $7 trillion over the next decade,” she said in defense of the proposal.  

“That is taxes that are due and are not being paid to the government that deprive us of the resources that we need to do critical investments to make America more productive and competitive.” 

Biden said his banking monitoring plan “isn’t about raising [high-earners’] taxes. It’s about the super-wealthy finally beginning to pay what they owe — what the existing tax code calls for — just like hardworking Americans do all over this country every Tax Day.”  

The president made the remarks during a September 16 briefing on the economy. 

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“The White House estimates that the proposal to monitor all transactions of $600 or more could bring in roughly $463 billion in additional revenue over the next decade through IRS enforcement actions,” Fox Business reported. 

Republican lawmakers stressed the violation of Americans’ privacy. 

“Democrats want to have IRS agents track your bank account transactions,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said.  

“This was never just about the ‘millionaires and billionaires,’” he added, mocking Senator Bernie Sanders’ oft-repeated line about having the wealthy pay more in taxes. 

“The IRS targeted conservatives during the Obama Administration,” Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan said. 

“Now they want to track your bank transactions during the Biden Administration. Whatever happened to privacy?” 

As Congressman Jordan pointed out, the IRS has a history of using its power to harass pro-life and conservative groups. 

It targeted pro-life groups and Tea Party organizations for extra scrutiny during the Obama administration. 

The tax agency agreed to pay the National Organization of Marriage a settlement of $50,000 for leaking its tax return information to homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign in 2014. 

But having a Republican in the White House cannot alone stop bureaucrats from keeping a close eye on what churches say concerning political issues. 

“The Internal Revenue Service of the US has issued a warning to churches that it will not wait until tax return time to go after churches that the agency judges to be indulging in political campaigning,” LifeSiteNews reported in 2006.