In a year’s time, do you make transactions in your bank account totaling $600 or more? We think it’s safe to assume the answer is yes for a huge chunk of our readership — and the population as a whole.
But that’s the bar that’s being set in a request being made of Congress by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and the Internal Revenue Service. The proposal would require banks to turn over to the IRS bank account information for all accounts holding more than $600.
That’s a pretty low bar and would result in massive collections of data on nearly all Americans.
The measure was found lurking in President Joe Biden’s plans to fund his federal spending plans that have toppled into the trillions. The Biden administration says this would allow the IRS to conduct audits more efficiently and ensure the proper amount of taxes are being paid. Eliminate all that tax-dodging by the wealthy, they say.
We say it is a massive invasion of Americans’ privacy, a major government overreach and, frankly, snooping.
We are happy to report that banking institutions across the country have reared up against the possibility of such a mandate and that, for now, the presenting Democrats seem to be backing off the measure. But, there’s talk that they’re considering a new version of the mandate. One that will impact fewer people, they say.
We agree the government needs to cast a smaller — and we mean much smaller — net. In fact, we think the government needs to stop fishing at all. This proposal is entirely too invasive and littered with red flags.
If the government believes an audit is needed of individual Americans, it must present its argument in each and every case before an ounce of information is given. There’s that pesky Fourth Amendment and all.
And none of this is to consider how that data will be stored, how it will be secured against hacking and who will pay the cost associated with enacting such a massive data exchange.
We could go on for days, but we think you get the idea. This mandate must never see the light of day.