Letter to the editor
Your privacy and money are at risk as the IRS seeks approval to snoop
October 22, 2021
There is an ongoing battle regarding the $3.5 trillion reconciliation plan proposed by the Biden Administration, which includes a provision that would require financial institutions, such as our credit unions, to report to the IRS transactional data for any account with at least $600 of inflows or outflows annually. This unlimited access to consumers’ financial data should raise alarms for anyone with a bank or credit union account.
First and foremost, this plan violates consumers’ privacy by requiring information that does not reflect taxable activity. No evidence has shown that the proposed requirements would substantially aid the IRS’s efforts to close the tax gap beyond the information already at the IRS’s disposal.
In addition, the plan would impose significant compliance costs on financial institutions. The strain credit unions would suffer to meet these requirements will directly impact members. This is especially true for smaller financial institutions located in rural or low-income communities.
Lastly, the government relies on outdated data systems to store and secure IRS information meaning that your personal data is in jeopardy. The IRS experiences an astounding 1.4 billion cyberattacks annually, along with multiple data breaches. We should not give the IRS further sensitive data to manage.
Montana’s Credit Unions are strongly against the IRS provision within the proposed reconciliation plan, and you should be too. We urge you all to contact your congressional leadership today to oppose this immense violation of your privacy.
-Tracie Kenyon, President & CEO of Montana’s Credit Unions