New Law May Affect Your Financial Privacy - You Still Have Time to Prevent This

Sep 28, 2021, 17:17 PM

As part of a $3.5 Trillion spending bill currently before Congress, there may be a provision that allows the Federal Government access to your personal financial information.  The provision would require all financial institutions to report your total deposits and withdrawals, above a specific threshold, to the Internal Revenue Service.  This would apply to all inflows and outflows for personal and business accounts.  Purportedly, the IRS would then compare your personal, private bank records to your tax returns to identify discrepancies.  The threshold last discussed was any account with inflows and outflows totaling more than $600.  Even if the threshold is increased, most accounts will be subject to reporting. 


This idea represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how people bank.  Anyone who has a roommate that pays them half the rent, or a significant other who shares the mortgage payment, will have a discrepancy between their bank account and their tax return.  How about people who are reimbursed for expenses by their employer?  What about any kid with a parent who occasionally helps them out by writing them a check or putting money in their account?  Or, how about anyone who just withdraws money from their own account, doesn’t spend it, and redeposits it later?  This law will give the IRS private financial transaction information on tens of thousands of Metro members who are paying their taxes and are not doing anything wrong.


Metro Credit Union is owned by our members and we operate for our members; we do not work for the Federal Government.  However, we must comply with the laws of the United States, so if this provision is passed into law, the Federal Government can invade your privacy.


This isn’t about being liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican; this is about your private financial information.  Initial outrage over the provision caused the House Ways and Means Committee to remove the language from their revenue (tax) plan.  However, people within the Administration and the leadership of the House and Senate are currently discussing adding this provision back to the larger bill, potentially with a higher threshold.  You can prevent that from happening.


Call your Representative and Senators and tell them:

  • Your private bank account transaction histories are none of the government’s business, regardless of the inflows and outflows threshold.
  • People often transfer money to one another, or redeposit funds they’ve previously withdrawn, and this will result in information reported to the government erroneously not matching income on your tax return.
  • If Congress wants the IRS to better enforce tax laws, then change the tax laws. Don’t pass a new law that invades the privacy of law-abiding Americans.
  • The entire concept of finding tax payment discrepancies by looking at total deposits and withdrawals is flawed. People move money around for many reasons, none of which require the Federal Government’s oversight or permission.


You can reach any member of congress through the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.  All three Nebraska Representatives have already signed onto a letter opposing this invasion of your privacy, but feel free to thank them and to reinforce their decision. 


 Nebraska District I  Jeff Fortenberry  Nebraska Senator  Deb Fischer
 Nebraska District II  Don Bacon  Nebraska Senator  Ben Sasse
 Nebraska District III   Adrian Smith   
 Iowa District III  Cindy Axne  Iowa Senator  Joni Ernst
 Iowa District IV  Randy Feenstra  Iowa Senator   Chuck Grassley

Learn more at the CUNA Grassroots Action Center. 

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