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Published

October 25, 2021

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Dear President Biden:

The undersigned organizations representing a cross-section of business and financial interests write to reiterate our strong opposition to the new tax information reporting regime proposed by the Department of Treasury and under consideration by Congress as part of the proposed reconciliation spending package. We respectfully request that this proposal be withdrawn from further consideration, and the administration consider more targeted measures to reduce the tax gap.

Our member companies understand that this proposal is a good-faith attempt by your administration to ensure all taxpayers meet their tax obligations, and we strongly support that goal. However, our members, and the American people, believe that they have a reasonable right to privacy and this overly broad proposal to report gross annual inflows and outflows from nearly every account is disconnected from its purported narrow purpose of focusing government scrutiny on Americans with actual income above $400,000.

This week the Department of Treasury and congressional supporters finally acknowledged the program was far too expansive but, according to media reports, made only cosmetic changes by increasing the de minimis threshold to $10,000 and excluding wages and government benefits from that calculation. As we have stated in several previous letters, these changes fail to address the reality that any program based on gross annual inflows and outflows will impact Americans from all income levels. Even with the proposed exclusions of certain types of income, a large number of common and totally innocent transactions by individuals and small businesses will be captured by this new regime.

The privacy concerns for Americans who pay their taxes and would be swept into this account reporting program are real and should not be taken lightly. Financial institutions are already facing difficult customer questions about this proposal. According to the Department of Treasury, it only plans to use the data to increase audits for those who make over $400,000 a year. The likely question of any American taxpayer making less than that is: Why does the IRS need my account information if they aren’t going to use it?

At its core, this program that has not had a significant study or detailed examination to show consumer impact, will collect financial “metadata” on nearly every American in the hope that the IRS will be able to discern patterns in aggregate numbers that do not correspond to tax liabilities and target audits only to those who are breaking the law. This is a substantial expansion of the IRS’s authority that, once established, is sure to expand rather than roll back.

We strongly urge the Administration to withdraw this reporting regime and consider how the IRS can use its existing authorities to directly focus on those taxpayers suspected of evading their taxes instead of casting such a wide net.

Thank you for considering our perspective, and we stand ready to provide more details on our specific concerns at any time.

Sincerely,

ACA International

Agricultural Retailers Association

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association

Air Conditioning Contractors of America

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Bankers Association

American Council of Engineering Companies

American Financial Services Association

American Hotel & Lodging Association

American Land Title Association

American Lighting Association

American Mold Builders Association

American Rental Association

America's SBDC

Angel Capital Association

Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Associated Builders and Contractors

Associated Equipment Distributors

Auto Care Association

Commercial Food Equipment Service Association

Community Development Bankers Association

Construction Industry Round Table

Consumer Bankers Association

Convenience Distribution Association

Credit Union National Association

Decorative Hardwoods Association

Energy Marketers of America

Family Business Coalition

Financial Executives International

Gases and Welding Distributors Association

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Hardwood Federation

Heating, Air-conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International

ICSC

Independent Bakers Association

Independent Community Bankers of America

Independent Electrical Contractors

Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association Industrial Fasteners Institute

Innovative Lending Platform Association

Innovative Payments Association

Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries

International Foodservice Distributors Association

International Franchise Association

International Warehouse Logistics Association

Main Street Employers

Manufactured Housing Institute

Metals Service Center Institute

Mid-Sized Bank Coalition of America

Mortgage Bankers Association

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

National Association for the Self-Employed

National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Association of Electrical Distributors

National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions

National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies

National Association of Industrial Bankers

National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors National Association of Professional Insurance Agents National Association of REALTORS

National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors National Bankers Association National Beer Wholesalers Association

National Community Pharmacists Association

National Cotton Council

National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association National Federation of Independent Business National Grocers Association

National Independent Auto Dealers Association

National Marine Distributors Association

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

National Roofing Contractors Association

National RV Dealers Association

National Small Business Association

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

National Tooling and Machining Association

North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers North American Die Casting Association

Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association

Pet Industry Distributors Association

Petroleum Equipment Institute

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors—National Association

Policy and Taxation Group

Precision Machined Products Association

Precision Metalforming Association

Private Investor Coalition

Promotional Products Association International

S Corporation Association

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Specialty Equipment Market Association

Subchapter S Bank Association

The Payroll Group

The Society of American Florists

Tile Roofing Industry Alliance

Tire Industry Association

Truck Renting and Leasing Association

U.S. Chamber of Commerce