June 16, 2021

Crapo Concerned with Proposals to Expand IRS Data Collection

Washington, D.C.--At a U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget with U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Ranking Member Mike Crapo said he is concerned with proposals to expand Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting requirements, particularly in light of a recent IRS data leak of private taxpayer information.

Senator Crapo Finance Committee 06.16.21

To view excerpts of Senator Crapo’s remarks, click HERE or the image above.

Key excerpts:

[The Administration’s budget] proposals are heavy on tax hikes, introduce new tax ideas of questionable merit, and seek to inject more social policy goals into the income tax system. 

They also call for a mandatory financial-information reporting regime.  Under this regime, financial institutions would become agents of the IRS, tasked with monitoring and reporting flows into and out of personal and business accounts above a mere $600 threshold.

The proposal, which is sold under the guise of trying to close the tax gap, is very concerning and pulls almost all taxpayers into a surveillance dragnet.

The era of big data should not be viewed as an opportunity for big brother.

I do not agree with some high-tax advocates that private tax information should be a public good, with governments and the public knowing every private aspect of individual and business income and assets.

An overwhelming majority of taxpayers in this country are law abiding, and pay the taxes they owe. 

My concerns are amplified by the egregious apparent leak of private taxpayer information out of the IRS, with data ending up at ProPublica, which reported sensationalized and misleading claims about taxes paid by named individuals.  While ProPublica focused on wealthy people, an IRS leak may involve personal information on American taxpayers across the income spectrum.

To read Senator Crapo’s full opening remarks, click HERE.  As Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Senator Crapo also sent letters on the data leak to the IRS; to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA); and to the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Those letters can be accessed at the following links:

Letter to IRS

Letter to TIGTA

Letter to DOJ