Lummis grills Secretary Janet Yellen on proposed IRS reporting requirements

September 28, 2021

Proposal would require banks to report private and business transactions over $600

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lummis lambasted a Biden administration proposal to require banks to disclose every financial transaction over $600 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Citing concerns from Wyoming individuals, banks and businesses, Lummis attacked the proposal during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee hearing with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

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During the hearing, Senator Lummis questioned Secretary Yellen about the reporting requirement, saying, “My constituents in Wyoming cannot believe that you support a proposal to require banks and credit unions to report customer data to the Internal Revenue Service for transactions of $600 or more. There are obvious privacy concerns for all Americans here and this represents a dramatic regulatory burden for community banks and credit unions in Wyoming and elsewhere.”

Senator Lummis defended the privacy rights of Wyoming citizens during the hearing, stating, “Bank customers are not subjects of the federal government. Banks do not work for the IRS. This is an invasion of privacy. Wyoming’s people literally will find alternatives to traditional banks just to thwart IRS access to their personal information, not because they’re trying to hide anything, but because they are not willing to share everything.”

Lummis pressed Secretary Yellen on the necessity of the reporting requirement. “Are you aware of how unnecessary this regulatory burden is?” Lummis asked. “Do you distrust the American people so much that you need to know when they bought a couch? Or a cow?”

Lummis concluded, “I am astounded by what you’re supporting and proposing. I think it’s invasive. I think privacy for individuals is being ignored. And I think that treating the American people like they are subjects of the government is unconscionable.”

The Biden administration’s proposal would require banks and credit unions to report any business or personal transaction over $600 to the Internal Revenue Service. This would impose a huge regulatory burden on small community banks that serve rural areas like Wyoming and is an invasion of privacy.

Senator Lummis joined an effort to block this proposal as part of the Democrat’s $3.5 trillion spending proposal. She cosponsored Senator Mike Crapo’s (R-ID) amendment to prevent financial institutions from monitoring and reporting sensitive American taxpayer information to the Internal Revenue Service.