Dems’ Terrifying IRS Scheme Increases Audit Rates for Every American With a Job

Reps. Brady, Kelly open GOP roundtable, warn against Dems’ IRS surveillance scheme that targets families, farmers, and small businesses
October 26, 2021 — Blog    — Opening Statements    — Oversight    — Press Releases    — Republican Meeting    — Roundtable   

Top Republican on the Ways Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and top Republican on the Oversight Subcommittee Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) opened a Republican roundtable highlighting how President Biden’s dangerous plan to expand the IRS will result in an invasion of privacy of Americans’ bank accounts.

 

Expert testimony from several community bankers outlined how the burdens and regulations of the IRS surveillance scheme would be passed on to customers.

 

Rep. Brady said:

 

“Despite their claims, Democrats are not targeting high-net income individuals or big corporations with the IRS surveillance. They believe that it is families, farmers, and small businesses who are cheating on their taxes, and this is the way they believe they can go after them.”

 

Rep. Kelly said: 

 

“If this proposal becomes law, the result will be a much more intrusive federal government.

 

“The IRS will double in size. It will be more involved in the day to day lives of every American. And the result will be an invasion of privacy and the heavy hand of the government squeezing out smaller, more local businesses.”

 

CLICK HERE to watch the full meeting.

 

KEY EXCERPTS from Rep. Brady’s opening remarks: 

  • “In the end, this is still a dangerous invasion of your privacy. As little as $200 a week of spending could trigger IRS surveillance. The grocery bill for an average family of four well exceeds that trigger for IRS surveillance.”
  • “It’s especially frightening for hairdressers, plumbers, gig workers and anyone who earns their living outside a payroll system – they’ve got a big target on their back.
  • “As Republicans recently wrote in a letter, ‘Even the $10,000 annual threshold would sweep up the bank information of nearly every American with a job.’”
  • “The Congressional Budget Office, our scorekeeper here in Congress, assumes that under the President’s proposal, audit rates would ‘rise for all taxpayers’”

 

READ: Top 10 Ways to Get Yourself Surveilled by the IRS

 

Rep. Brady’s remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.

 

Thank you, Mr. Kelly, and to the witnesses, and all my Republican colleagues for participating in today’s meeting.

 

We told the American people when President Biden first called for tax increases that it would fall on blue-collar workers, the middle class, and small businesses.

 

Every day since, our warnings have been proven correct.

 

The Joint Committee on Taxation has already made clear that the tax increases in President Biden’s reconciliation package will fall on the middle class–75 percent in the short term, and 95 percent over the long term.

 

When Democrats included their tobacco tax in their mark-up of the reconciliation bill, they knew, as we all do, these taxes fall on people making less than $400,000–a clear violation of President Biden’s tax pledge.

 

They also promised that later, they would make this bill worse out of committee. That they would find a way to hire tens of thousands of new IRS agents and impose an unprecedented bank surveillance scheme on Americans.

 

Despite their claims, Democrats are not targeting high-net income individuals or big corporations with the IRS surveillance. They believe that it is families, farmers, and small businesses who are cheating on their taxes, and this is the way they believe they can go after them.

 

Democrats want an audits-for-all program designed in secret.

 

And they insist on hiring 80,000 more IRS agents to unleash on American taxpayers, while they boast of “scaling back” their proposal.

 

In the end, this is still a dangerous invasion of your privacy.

 

As little as $200 a week of spending could trigger IRS surveillance. The grocery bill for an average family of four well exceeds that trigger for IRS surveillance.

 

It’s especially frightening for hairdressers, plumbers, gig workers and anyone who earns their living outside a payroll system – they’ve got a big target on their back.

 

The Congressional Budget Office, our scorekeeper here in Congress, assumes that under the President’s proposal, audit rates would “rise for all taxpayers.”

 

As Republicans recently wrote in a letter, “Even the $10,000 annual threshold would sweep up the bank information of nearly every American with a job.”

 

According to our local banks in Texas and across the country, the President’s IRS bank surveillance regime would draw in a wider variety of the types of account holders currently subject to reporting. It would require significant system changes in the system.

 

With the IRS still unable to report on exactly what was stolen during its recent politicized leak of private tax return data, Americans have reason enough to distrust the IRS.

 

President Biden and Speaker Pelosi’s proposal simply goes too far. Republicans have a better plan. 

 

Not only have we introduced a bill prohibiting the Biden Administration’s plan to turn local banks into chapters of the IRS, we have also introduced the Tax Gap Reform and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Enforcement Act.

 

This allows for an accurate, modern understanding of the tax gap, provides smarter enforcement, ensures the IRS uses all of the resources at its disposal, and ensures the IRS doesn’t target Americans based on their political beliefs.

 

The IRS plays an important role. It should not be a partisan entity, and reforming it should not be political. We should do this work together. It’s too important and affects too many working Americans.

 

With that, proud to turn this hearing over to the Republican Leader of the Oversight Subcommittee Congressman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Kelly.

 

Mr. Kelly’s remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.

 

Thank you to my friend Mr. Brady for those remarks and thank you to everyone for being here.

 

We are here today to talk about the Biden administration plan to surveil American bank accounts.

 

There are numerous problems with this proposal and we will dig into them during today’s meeting.

 

But let me focus on one key point: If this proposal becomes law, the result will be a much more intrusive federal government.

 

The IRS will double in size. It will be more involved in the day to day lives of every American. And the result will be an invasion of privacy and the heavy hand of government squeezing out smaller, more local businesses.

 

That is what is at stake and that is why today’s meeting is so important – we need to make sure the American people know what is going on.

 

That is why today we have several excellent witnesses who can help educate us about what this proposal would mean for our financial institutions and people like you and me in our communities.

 

Allow me to take a moment to introduce each of our witnesses.

 

First, we have Mr. Clem Rosenberger, President & CEO of NexTier Bank in Pennsylvania.

 

Next is Mr. Bob Fisher, President & CEO of Tioga State Bank in New York.

 

And finally, Mr. Jim Edwards, CEO of United Bank in Georgia.

 

Thank you all for being here to help educate us on the nature of the bank surveillance proposal being discussed in Congress.

 

I’d like to remind the witnesses and my colleague that we need to be mindful of the clock so that we can get to everyone’s questions. Please limit your remarks, questions, and answers to 3 minutes.

 

And with that I would like to turn it over first to Mr. Rosenberger for an opening statement.