February 15, 2023

Republican Leaders of Banking, Finance Committees Introduce Bill to Block IRS Surveillance, Protect American Taxpayers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, and other Senate Republican colleagues introduced the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act, which will block future progressive political efforts that would force the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to snoop on the private information of American taxpayers.

In 2021, the Biden administration proposed new requirements that would have directed the IRS to collect the private transaction information of virtually every American. This legislation will protect taxpayers by prohibiting such requirements from ever being implemented.

“Under the Biden administration and progressive leadership, the IRS has proposed outrageous actions that threaten the privacy of American taxpayers,” said Sen. Scott. “In light of this pattern, this legislation will prevent the IRS from taking future steps to encroach on the lives and finances of everyday Americans.”

“Americans are justifiably concerned about providing sensitive customer data to the IRS, an agency with an extensive history of leaks, hacks and other violations of taxpayer confidentiality,” said Sen. Crapo. “They loudly rejected the IRS bank reporting dragnet when it was originally proposed, and this legislation will prevent the IRS from turning banks and credit unions into private investigators for law-abiding Americans.”

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Kennedy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), John Thune (R-S.D.), JD Vance (R-Ohio), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

This bill is endorsed by the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), Credit Union National Association (CUNA), American Bankers Association (ABA), Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and the National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

Below are statements from ATR and NTU, reflecting just a segment of the broad coalition of organizations that support this legislation.

Americans for Tax Reform

“Joe Biden and the Democrats think they can send the IRS to spy on your bank account without the public noticing. Well people noticed. The IRS has an extensive history of mishandling and abusing private taxpayer information. It's been 617 days since a thief illegally handed the private, personal taxpayer information of Americans to the progressive group ProPublica to publish, yet not a single person at the Treasury Department or the IRS has been held responsible. The IRS doesn't get more access to our lives when it can't protect the private information it already collects. Sen. Scott's bill would prevent the IRS from gaining access to the private transactions of every American. Every Senator should support this bill,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.

National Taxpayers Union

"The administration's bank reporting proposal raised numerous concerns about taxpayer privacy and IRS mission creep, with taxpayers and small banks around the country sounding the alarm about its implications. The IRS should be focusing on its core mission of serving taxpayers, and should be modernizing its taxpayer-facing tools to make filing taxes and complying with tax laws easier for families and small businesses. NTU applauds Ranking Member Scott's efforts to ensure through legislation that this proposal will not be considered by Congress or implemented by the IRS in the near future."

Click here to read the bill.