Cheney Co-Sponsors Legislation Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance
Congresswoman Liz Cheney has added her name to the list of Republican lawmakers who are decrying The Biden Administration's proposal that would allow the IRS to collect additional data on bank accounts that see more than $600 (now $10,000) in annual transactions.
Yesterday, Senator Barrasso said that President Biden "wants to give the IRS more power to spy on Americans," and now Congresswoman Cheney is echoing those same thoughts.
She is also co-sponsoring legislation that would prohibit the IRS from performing, what she called, 'Financial Surveillance.'
According to a press release from Cheney's office, the bill aims to prohibit the IRS from implementing "any form of the Biden Administration's aggressive bank surveillance regime."
Additionally, the bill would prevent any new reporting requirements on banks to disclose information on individuals' private bank account deposits or withdrawal activity. Cheney's office did note that the legislation would not restrict any previous existing provision of current law, such as the Bank Secrecy Act, or existing subpoena authority.
"The Democrats’ plan to allow the IRS to track transactions over $600 goes too far," Congresswoman Cheney said. "The IRS should not have the ability to stalk the financial activity of everyday citizens in Wyoming and giving them this authority would represent a dangerous step forward. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of legislation that will protect individuals' freedoms and will push back against attempts to use the IRS to invade people's privacy."
To the Biden Administration's point, this proposal isn't designed to 'spy on everyday citizens,' from what they've said. It's designed to ensure that wealthy Americans are paying appropriate taxes.
According to a fact sheet put out by the Treasury Department, "The only way to ensure that upper-income taxpayers pay what they owe is by giving the IRS the resources and information required to close the tax gap. The Administration’s compliance proposals will do just this by providing a bit of additional information and making transformative investments in the IRS, such as hiring enforcement agents who are trained to pursue tax evasion by sophisticated, upper-income taxpayers."
After initial criticism from Republicans, The Biden Administration re-evaluated and changed the threshold from $600 to $10,000 in annual transactions. ABC News reported that the Biden Administration, as well as Senate Democrats have also stated that any income received through a paycheck from which federal taxes are already automatically deducted will not be subject to the reporting, nor will recipients of federal benefits such as unemployment and Social Security.
"Imagine a taxpayer who reports $10,000 of income; but has $10 million of flows in and out of their bank account," the fact sheet noted. "Having this summary information will help flag for the IRS when high-income people under-report their income (and under-pay their tax obligations). This will help the IRS target its enforcement activities on those who are actually evading their tax obligations—decreasing costly and burdensome audits for the vast majority of taxpayers who pay what they owe."
Full text of the legislation can be found here.