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Tennessee treasurer strongly opposes IRS bank account monitoring proposal

This file photo shows the Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington.
This file photo shows the Internal Revenue Service headquarters building in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

Tennessee treasurer strongly opposes IRS bank account monitoring proposal

October 11, 12:00 PM October 11, 12:00 PM

Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard is calling President Joe Biden’s plan to have the IRS monitor banking accounts with more than $600 in transactions in a year an “invasion of privacy.”

Lillard said Friday the IRS already is failing to use the current reporting requirements and hasn’t shown a track record of keeping sensitive information safe from cyberattacks and other security breaches.

“While the Biden Administration is trying to bill this as ‘improving tax compliance’ on the wealthy, this plan is a massive invasion of the privacy of middle-income Americans and an unnecessary, tremendous compliance burden on community bankers,” Lillard said. “It will substantially increase the unbanked in our nation.”

Forty trade associations sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in late September opposing the plan.

“I suggest the Biden Administration follow Tennessee’s playbook – be fiscally responsible,” Lillard said. “Tennessee has no state income tax and the Tennessee General Assembly passes a balanced budget every year while still maintaining a conservative record of lowering taxes for Tennessee families.

“Authorizing the IRS to snoop in the bank accounts of Tennesseans is a bad idea. I have urged Tennessee’s Congressional delegation to defeat this unnecessary overreach.”

In order to give the IRS more ability to fulfill the plan, Biden has proposed giving the agency $80 billion in funding, but that request has yet to be fulfilled.

“We agree with Treasurer Lillard,” a statement from free-market think tank The Beacon Center of Tennessee said. “The Biden administration’s plan to monitor every American’s bank account is an assault on privacy rights. The IRS doesn’t need to know when you buy a new TV or a set of golf clubs which alone could trigger the $600 threshold. Not to mention, it would impose massive compliance costs on Tennessee banks, many of which are struggling, especially in rural areas.”

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