Banks Warn That Americans Will Be Spied On With Biden’s IRS Scheme

( On Monday, nearly one hundred banks and industry groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to reconsider his proposal to deploy the IRS to monitor bank account transaction data.

Initially, the Biden administration had planned to require banks to hand over account data on all accounts with more than $600 in total transactions. But after a sharp outcry from Republican lawmakers and banks, the administration raised the amount from $600 to $10,000. But in their letter, these banking groups argued that raising the cap was nothing more than a cosmetic change.

While they lauded the administration’s “good faith attempt” to ensure Americans were paying the taxes they owe, the banking groups said that their members, along with the American people, believe in the “reasonable right to privacy.” They warn that the “overly broad proposal” goes beyond the “purported narrow purpose” of focusing scrutiny on those earning more than $400,000 a year.

They argue that this scrutiny will sweep up Americans who are paying their taxes, and the privacy concerns of those Americans “should not be taken lightly.”

The letter was signed by a variety of groups – including the American Bankers Association, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Chamber of Commerce to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, the National RV Dealers Association, the National Grocers Association and the North American Die Casting Association.

Under the current iteration of the scheme, accounts with $10,000 or more in total deposits and withdrawals — excluding income from wages or social security — would be subject to greater scrutiny by the IRS. Banks would be required to send over their aggregate inflow and outflow to the IRS to help the agency target its audits.

The banking groups argue that there has been no “significant study or detailed examination” into the proposed program which would show what consumer impact it will have. They argue that this dragnet will ultimately expose the financial data of people who have broken no laws, and conclude by pointing out the obvious. This plan is “a substantial expansion of the IRS’ authority,” and once it is in play, it will never be rolled back. Instead, it “is sure to expand.”

But that is exactly the point.