Banking activity of 100 million Americans could be subject to IRS examination
SALT LAKE CITY – September 23, 2021 – State Auditor John Dougall and State Treasurer Marlo Oaks joined 21 other State Treasurers, Auditors and financial officers representing 20 states to oppose a Biden administration proposal to expand the power of the IRS to monitor citizens’ bank accounts with more than $600 of deposited funds. If the proposal is enacted, the private banking activity of more than 100 million Americans could be subject to invasive IRS examination.
The state financial officers wrote in a letter to President Biden and Secretary Yellen (Letter), “We do not believe the federal government should give the IRS the unprecedented and unconstitutional power to peer into law abiding citizens’ private financial accounts. This would be one of the largest infringements of data privacy in our nation’s history and is a direct assault on the financial disclosures of all Americans. This would impact well over 100 million Americans who currently have a financial account.”
The Letter further states, “As Treasurers and Auditors we want to join the many state bank and credit union associations who oppose this type of intrusive action. We urge you to consider the negative impacts this initiative would have on individuals and small businesses in all of our communities, along with the negative impact on local financial institutions.”
State Auditor John Dougall noted, “The proposed rules would be an egregious data mining and surveillance exercise against everyday American citizens who have committed no crimes and are not suspected of any wrong doing. In addition, there is no indication that this level of surveillance would help accomplish the stated goal of catching tax evaders.”
State Treasurer Marlo Oaks stated, “The proposed financial reporting requirements are an unprecedented infringement on the rights and privacy of Americans. Creating mountains of private data for IRS agents to sift through does little to help them focus on more sophisticated tax evaders and subjects honest citizens and small businesses to invasive and unwarranted IRS scrutiny. Additionally, the increased reporting requirements would likely overburden our community banks and credit unions by requiring them to police and report all accounts and transactions over $600.”
Auditor Dougall and Treasurer Oaks were joined on the Letter by Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan, Arizona Treasurer Kimberly Yee, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Idaho Treasurer Julie Ellsworth, Indiana Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon, Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball, Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder, Mississippi Treasurer David McRae, Missouri State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick, Nebraska Treasurer John Murante, North Dakota Treasurer Thomas Beadle, Ohio Treasurer Robert Sprague, Oklahoma Treasurer Randy McDaniel, Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, South Carolina Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis, Jr., South Dakota Treasurer Josh Haeder, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, West Virginia Auditor John “JB” McCuskey, West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore, and Wyoming Treasurer Curt Meier.
Auditor Dougall is the 2022 SFOF National Auditor At-Large.
The SFOF Letter to President Biden and Secretary Yellen may be found on the Office’s website, auditor.utah.gov, and specifically at:
About the Office of the State Auditor
The Office of the State Auditor provides Utah taxpayers and government officials with an independent assessment of financial operation, statutory compliance, and performance management for state and local government.
Specific activities of the Office include performing financial audits, conducting federal funds compliance audits, providing local government oversight, conducting agency and program performance audits, performing fraud and compliance audits, and operating the State Auditor Hotline for citizens to report suspected financial issues or improprieties. These capabilities strengthen Utah State Government and help taxpayers have confidence in the integrity of Utah’s government agencies.
The Office also provides interactive graphical tools to help taxpayers and policymakers gain greater insight into governmental financial activities.
The State Auditor is a Constitutional Officer of the State of Utah, elected directly by the state’s citizens every 4 years. The role of the Utah State Auditor is authorized in Article VII, Section 15 of the Utah Constitution. For more information, see auditor.utah.gov.
About the Office of the State Treasurer
The Office of the State Treasurer performs a broad array of functions that are critical to the banking, investment management and financing operations of state agencies and local governments throughout Utah. The office orchestrates the state’s cash collection, concentration, disbursement and investment processes and carefully manages banking, brokerage and custodial relationships to ensure that banking operations are conducted in a highly efficient, secure and cost-effective manner. The office administers and manages the $23 billion Public Treasurers’ Investment Fund, which provides daily liquidity to state agencies and more than 700 local governmental entities throughout Utah. The office also manages several long-term investment funds and a portfolio of statutorily required government escrow accounts and letters of credit. Office staff assists the State Treasurer with the issuance of the state’s general obligation and lease revenue bonds.
The State Treasurer is a Constitutional Officer of the State of Utah, elected directly by the state’s citizens every four years. The role of the State Treasurer is authorized in Article VII, Section 15 of the Utah Constitution. For more information, see treasurer.utah.gov.
About the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF)
The State Financial Officers Foundation’s (SFOF) mission is to drive fiscally sound public policy, by partnering with key stakeholders, and educating Americans on the role of responsible financial management in a free market economy. To learn more, visit SFOF.com.