November 10, 2021

Smith Calls for Impact Analysis of Biden IRS Spying Scheme that Targets Working Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08), in a letter to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), called for an official assessment of how the Biden Administration’s proposal to empower the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to spy on the financial activity of American citizens – including working families, farmers, small businesses, and gig economy workers – would impact middle- to low-income Americans. Specifically, Smith outlined how the latest Administration proposal would be directed at Americans who can least afford to protect themselves against unwarranted government intrusion. The letter asks for an analysis of the IRS targeting of Americans earning less than $400,000.

“Just like his multi-trillion-dollar tax and spending bill, President Biden’s proposal to empower the IRS to spy on Americans’ bank accounts is grossly inappropriate and reflects an Administration wildly out of touch with the concerns of the American people. This radical policy, far from serving as a tax on the rich, would target working families and effectively give the IRS the authority to check under the couch cushions of every living room in America. It sets up millions of families, farmers, small businesses, and gig economy workers for potential audits and legal battles against one of the federal government’s most formidable agencies – an agency with a troubling history of abusing its own powers,” said House Budget Committee Republican Leader Smith.

The Biden Administration claims its policy is targeted at wealthy Americans. But the recently suggested reporting threshold on gross inflows or outflows of $10,000 from any personal or business bank, loan, or investment account would allow the IRS to monitor account activity for any American who spends $833 per month, or $28 per day. Additionally, while the proposal would exclude wage and salary earners, it would impact millions of working Americans who earn income that is not reported on traditional W-2s. This idea is also being put forward at the same time that the Biden Administration wants to give $80 billion to the IRS to double its number of agents in order to target more Americans.

“During the Obama-Biden Administration the IRS targeted and discriminated against conservatives, and just months into the Biden Administration the IRS has leaked highly sensitive taxpayer information. These are just a couple examples of the IRS’s abuse that make it clear that turning local banks into a new enforcement arm will only further empower the IRS to harass Americans and violate their privacy,” Smith wrote. “I fear that the consequences of this policy proposal will be far-reaching – impacting Americans across the income spectrum.”

Read the letter to JCT here.