Press Releases

Herrera Beutler Joins Effort to Prevent IRS from Surveilling Americans’ Bank Accounts

In response to a proposal that would require the federal government to track new information about Americans’ bank accounts, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) is supporting legislation, the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act, to block the plan and protect Americans’ privacy.

Herrera Beutler this week also joined over 200 of her colleagues in a letter to Treasury Secretary Yellen expressing their concern of the Administration’s proposal.

The controversial provision would grant significant surveillance authority to the IRS over millions of hardworking Americans with $10,000 or more in outflows from their accounts and is included in the Biden Administration’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan. It has drawn opposition from a broad spectrum of small businesses and citizens for the impacts it would have.

Privacy concerns: Earlier this year, detailed records of thousands of American taxpayers maintained by the IRS were leaked to the media. This proposal has magnified concerns about that agency’s failures to protect individual privacy.
Community banks, credit unions, small businesses: Community banks and credit unions are staunchly opposed. Many cite the lack of employee bandwidth to monitor and report information on every account that would qualify under the $10,000 threshold. Millions of businesses would also be impacted by this change.
Impact on hardworking Americans: Americans concerned with these provisions could remain or become unbanked, making them reliant on check-cashing and other costly options for financial resources.

More audits of low- and middle-income Americans: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that Americans of all income levels will see more audits as the IRS would double its workforce to keep up with monitoring and enforcement.  

“Residents, small businesses and community banking institutions are outraged at this proposal to track the financial activity of a vast number of Americans with bank accounts – and rightly so,” Herrera Beutler said. “Big businesses and wealthy Americans are the ones with the resources to navigate and avoid these types of government requirements; it’s middle-income Americans who will pay more in fees and have unnecessary government intrusion into their affairs as part of this IRS dragnet. I’m working to spare hardworking citizens from having their spending monitored by the IRS, and to prevent mountains of onerous regulations from being heaped on credit unions and community banks that have nothing to do with keeping tax-dodging billionaires accountable.”

Background:

As part of its “Build Back Better” plan, the Biden Administration has proposed implementing a surveillance program requiring banks and other financial institutions to provide the IRS details on their customers and data for accounts with deposits or withdrawals totaling more than $10,000.