Poll: Voters Oppose Bank Snooping Plan, Believe it Will Increase Audits on Taxpayers Making Less than $400k

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Posted by Isabelle Morales on Thursday, October 28th, 2021, 11:05 AM PERMALINK

Voters overwhelmingly oppose President Biden’s proposal to have the IRS collect information on the withdrawals and deposits for millions of bank, loan, and investment accounts as well as Venmo, CashApp, and PayPal accounts. According to a new poll by HarrisX, 66 percent of voters oppose this plan, while just 34 percent of voters support it. 71 percent of voters believe it will increase audits on Americans making less than $400,000 per year, compared to just 29 percent who think it will not increase audits.

President Biden’s budget proposed tracking any account exceeding gross inflows and outflows of $600. More recently, Senate Democrats have suggested a threshold of $10,000. A $10,000 threshold is little more than $200 in total inflows or outflows per week or $800 per month, amounts that many Americans could easily hit.

The poll was conducted between October 26 - 27 among 937 registered voters. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points and results reflect a nationally representative sample of registered voters.

Respondents were asked the following:  

The IRS has proposed requiring the reporting of any bank account, investment account, or PayPal/Venmo account of Americans that have over $10,000 in total withdrawals and deposits over the course of a year. Do you support or oppose this proposal? 

66 percent of respondents said they opposed this proposal, while just 34 percent of respondents indicated their support for the proposal. 

There was strong opposition to this plan amongst key demographics including:

  • 60 percent of male voters
  • 72 percent of female voters
  • 81 percent of Republicans
  • 50 percent of Democrats
  • 70 percent of independents
  • 51 percent of Biden voters
  • 73 percent of suburban voters
  • 79 percent of rural voters

 

Voters also believed that this plan would increase audits on Americans. They were asked the following:

Regardless of whether or not you support the IRS proposal, do you think surveilling bank accounts, investment accounts, or PayPal/Venmo accounts of Americans that have over $10,000 in total transactions would increase audits for Americans making less than $400,000 per year? 

  • Yes, this would increase audits for Americans making less than $400,000 per year 
  • No, this would not increase audits for Americans making less than $400,000 per year 


71 percent of respondents answered, “Yes, this would increase audits for Americans making less than $400,000 per year,” while just 29 percent answered, “No, this would not increase audits for Americans making less than $400,000 per year.” 

By strong majorities, the following demographic groups said this would increase audits on Americans making less than $400,000 a year:  

  • 75 percent of male voters
  • 68 percent of female voters
  • 80 percent of Hispanics
  • 77 percent of Republicans
  • 70 percent of Democrats
  • 65 percent of independents
  • 69 percent of Biden voters
  • 67 percent of suburban voters
  • 78 percent of urban voters
  • 71 percent of rural voters

 

The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates that taxpayers in every single income bracket would be impacted by this reporting requirement. This is a radical violation of privacy, will subject virtually every American to IRS abuse, and is not consistent with Democrats’ goals of making the “rich pay their fair share.”  

This would be a radical violation of privacy. This policy would give the federal government access to virtually every American’s account inflows and outflows. The proposal is not tailored nor targeted at all towards higher-income taxpayers or more “suspicious” behavior.  In fact, if a family's monthly expenses total just $833 a month, or about $200 a week, their bank information would be reported to the IRS. 

Additionally, the IRS already abuses current reporting laws. The IRS Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) regularly violated taxpayers’ rights and skirted or ignored due process requirements when investigating taxpayers for allegedly violating the existing $10,000 currency transaction reporting requirements, according to a 2017 report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).   

Voters are entirely correct about this proposal. The IRS has a long record of targeting and harassing taxpayers and this proposed new financial reporting regime is a violation of privacy, that would provide another avenue for the agency to target taxpayers including low- and middle-income Americans. 

Photo Credit: "Middle-aged woman holding credit card and typing on laptop at home. Arms closeup." by Nenad Stojkovic is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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