Democrats’ IRS bank account monitoring plan would affect 87 million Americans, analysis finds

Tens of millions of Americans could have their banking information scanned and reported to the Internal Revenue Service under a deeply controversial proposal by Democrats, new analysis has found.

Democrats hatched a plan earlier this year to force banks and other financial institutions to disclose accounts with $ 10,000 in annual deposits or cash outflows to the IRS, a move meant to help the agency crack down on tax evaders of the rich.

Recipients of federal benefits such as Unemployment and Social Security would be exempt from the policy under the latest iteration of the proposal, which would also exclude any income received through a paycheck in which federal taxes are automatically deducted.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the economy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, the United States on Tuesday, November 23, 2021. (Oliver Contreras / Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that some 87 million Americans who earn less than $ 400,000 in adjusted gross income would have their account information reported to the IRS. This is just over half – about 59% – of the 148 million American taxpayers who earn less than $ 400,000.


The proposal almost certainly won’t become law: House Democrats passed a version of the Build Back Better bill that omitted the IRS oversight provision after opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, who called it “Messed up”. The plan’s revenues were intended to pay for Biden’s signature economic spending measure, but it has come under heavy criticism from banks, industry groups and Republicans.

The JCT’s analysis came in response to a question from Rep. Jason Smith, R-Mo., Who asked the tax auditor to see how many Americans the policy would encompass.


A man walks into the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington, DC, the United States on Friday, May 7, 2010. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / Getty Images)

“Is it fair to assume that a W-2 hourly worker who also drives Uber alongside or sells on eBay would see all of their income come under scrutiny – severely punishing Americans for nothing more than working hard and trying to support themselves Their families? ” Smith wrote in a letter dated November 2.

The White House has repeatedly defended the plan in the face of criticism from the banks, writing in a note to Congressional Democrats that require banks and financial institutions to provide “some high level information” to the government. IRS on Account Flow gives the agency more information on the income of wealthy Americans from investments and business activities.


The Biden team stressed that banks will not have to report individual transactions to the IRS, but rather “high-level background information on account entries and exits” and that audit rates for Americans earning less than $ 400,000 a year would not increase.

Banks are already required to report any individual transaction over $ 10,000 to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network – as part of anti-money laundering requirements.

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