A Biden administration effort to require that bank accounts of more than $600 or any transactions above $600 be reported to the Internal Revenue Service is causing plenty of grumbles from, well, just about anyone who hears about it. It’s a horrible idea, and not just because of the access it gives the federal government to personal information and transactions, though that’s reason enough to kill it.
And it’s not just because the security for all that personal data is suspect, reliant not only on banks but also software providers and ultimately the federal government to keep safe.
The worst part of this ill-conceived effort is that the IRS doesn’t seem to have a plan to use the data. The ostensible reason for the transaction reporting is to allow the IRS to catch scofflaws who underreport income.
Supporting the effort is bulking up the IRS with $80 billion in new revenue, allowing the service to add huge teams of new auditors to source out the claimed $485 billion in tax revenue that went unpaid due to financial dodges.
All of this is tucked into the $3.5 trillion spending package Biden is pushing. It’s there to show the bill isn’t just about spending. It shows some revenue, much needed when trying to sell a $3.5 trillion economic package.
Banks obviously hate it due to extra costs. If enacted, it will also likely steer the public away from banks to avoid the IRS scrutiny.
Some lawmakers are suggesting the $600 amount be raised to $10,000. The dollar amount, though, is only a secondary point to the main concern about government intrusion.
It should scare the bejeebers out of everyone to think the IRS will collect all your financial information and get back to you if it finds something amiss, especially when its criteria is nothing stronger than seeking out unusual activity.
Banks already report high dollar transactions and odd activity. The $3.5 trillion economic package has a long way to go before passage. Though the whole thing deserves a fate in the scrapyard, at the very least it should eliminate this $80 billion IRS expense and the consequential government intrusions into the lives and finances of its citizens.
— Today’s News-Herald