As the U.S. Senate prepares to discuss legislation that would allow bank account tracking by the IRS, U.S. Representative Charlie Crist called on Senate leadership to exclude it from being wrapped into Biden’s Build Back Better plan.
Crist sent a letter last week to the Oregon Democrat and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, as well as Indiana Republican and Ranking Member of the Senate Mike Crapo, encouraging them to “avoid adding divisive IRS account reporting requirements.”
In a prepared statement on his website, Crist argued, “As Florida families are feeling the burden of higher prices for gas and other goods, they’re counting on Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act to lower costs and support families. The last thing anyone needs is for the IRS to be keeping an eye on their checking account.”
He added, “I’m calling on the Senate to advance Build Back Better without the unpopular IRS provision so families can keep their Child Tax Cut and rooftop solar will be cheaper for the middle class. We need to get the job done to invest in lowering costs, create jobs, and fight climate change. The IRS reporting provision would threaten this critical progress. This is not about right versus left. This is right versus wrong.”
If included in the Build Back Better Act, the legislation would require banks to report to the IRS accounts that have yearly deposits or withdrawals of more than $10,000, not including individual’s federal benefits or wages. A part of those reports would also require banks to report every deposit or withdrawal of $600 or more.
In the first paragraph of Crist’s letter to Wyden and Crapo, he wrote:
“As you undertake the critical work advancing the Build Back Better Act, I ask that you avoid adding divisive IRS account reporting requirements to the package. I strongly support President Biden’s efforts to increase tax compliance and that the wealthiest 1% of Americans pay their fair share, but granting the IRS unprecedented access to bank accounts is not the path forward.”
Regarding the policy, Crist wrote:
“The American public, tax policy experts, financial institutions, and state legislatures have lined up to oppose including this new policy in the House version of the bill. All share a concern that this policy is too broad and will likely disadvantage small businesses, community banks and working families – those most vulnerable as the economy strives to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Although Crist sided with his Democratic counterparts on the majority of Biden’s Build Back Better Act, he is the first Democrat to publicly oppose Biden’s attempt at exposing Americans’ personal information.
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Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Charlie Crist” by Congressman Charlie Crist. Background Photo “U.S. Senate” by U.S. Senate.