The Georgia Bankers Association says the plan by President Joe Biden to give the IRS a wider look at the financial transactions of individuals and businesses is wrongheaded.
Biden’s new rule would require deposits or withdrawals totaling more than $600 annually of all business and personal accounts to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
Joe Brannen, president & CEO of the Georgia Bankers Association, said it would impact every working Georgian and every business.
In a statements released jointly by the bankers association and Georgia Chamber of Commerce Thursday, Brannen said it would be an infringement on personal and business privacy without any grounds for suspecting tax fraud.
The Biden Administration predicts it would generate more revenue for the federal government. In May, the U.S. Department of Treasury estimated it would raise as much as $460 billion within the next 10 years. Most would be from mostly wealthy people trying to evade taxes.
“This wrongheaded proposal violates the privacy of almost every American in the name of catching wealthy tax cheats,” Brannen said. “Consumers, small business owners and families should rightly be concerned that their personal financial information will be turned over to the IRS with no assurance their data will be protected from cyber criminals or restricted to this one idea.”
It would create a massive increase in regulatory burden and cost for Georgia’s banks, Brannen said.
If approved, it would go into effect during the 2023 federal income tax year.
“This costly and intrusive proposal is loaded with harmful potential, and we urge all Georgia citizens to join us in opposing it,” Brannen said.
The Georgia Bankers Association is not alone in its opposition. Joining it in a joint public announcement this week was the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, which also went on record Thursday as objecting to the Biden proposal.
Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber, called it a burden.
“This blatant overreach by government would place an incredible burden on our state’s banking institutions and the small businesses that make up 99% of Georgia’s business community,” Clark said. “It undermines the privacy of everyday Georgians and simply outweighs any hypothetical, unproven gains.”
The American Banking Association and the nearly 5,000-member Independent Community Bankers of America also oppose the rule.
Gov. Brian Kemp also weighed in on the issue Thursday.
“This ridiculous power grab by the Biden Administration is only their latest attempt to hurt businesses and undermine the constitutional rights of hardworking Georgians,” Kemp said. “There is absolutely no reason for the federal government to have the ability to monitor nearly every checking account in the country. This is a reckless invasion of privacy and a gut punch to community banks, small businesses, and large banking institutions alike.”
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, the Pooler Republican whose congressional district includes Glynn and surrounding counties, criticized the plan earlier this week.
“Washington Democrats are so power-hungry they’re now going after the personal bank accounts of nearly every American,” Carter said. “Not only does this represent an unprecedented invasion of our privacy, but (it also) would be led by an agency that has repeatedly failed to properly protect taxpayer information.
“This is just another attempt to advance a socialist agenda aimed at giving politicians and bureaucrats more control over our lives, and I won’t stand for it.”