WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: National Bank and Credit Union Trade Groups Praise Tuberville’s Protecting Financial Privacy Act

WASHINGTON – U.S.Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) recently introduced the Protecting Financial Privacy Act in response to a proposal by the Biden Administration requiring all financial transactions of $600 or more to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Current regulations require financial institutions to report all cash transactions of $10,000 or more to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the Treasury Department, not the IRS. 

“Folks feel uneasy when someone is snooping around in their business, especially when it’s the federal government doing the snooping. Yet that is exactly what President Biden wants to do with his excessive reporting requirement that will strain our local banks and credit unions. The Protecting Financial Privacy Act will proactively block President Biden’s proposal to report Americans’ financial transactions of over $600 to the IRS and stop big brother government at its worst,” said Senator Tuberville.

Here’s What They are Saying:

“ICBA thanks Sen. Tuberville for introducing legislation to block a widely opposed proposal that would require financial institutions to report their customers’ financial account information to the IRS. A bipartisan supermajority of Americans opposes this proposal, which raises privacy, due process, and data security concerns while threatening bipartisan efforts to reduce the unbanked population. Adjusting the reporting threshold or otherwise tweaking this misguided plan will not make it any more acceptable,” said Independent Community Bankers of America President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey.

“NAFCU applauds Senator Tuberville for his leadership in introducing the Protecting Financial Privacy Act of 2021, important legislation that prohibits the IRS or any other agency from implementing intrusive financial reporting requirements on transactions and account balances. The IRS reporting requirement proposal is a great threat to the data privacy of consumers and imposes more costs and burdens on community financial institutions with limited benefit. The Protecting Financial Privacy Act is an important step to protecting all consumers and NAFCU looks forward to working with Senator Tuberville on this critical issue,” said National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions President and CEO Dan Berger.

“We share Senator Tuberville’s concerns with the misguided proposal to force financial institutions to share account holders’ personal financial data with the IRS. We believe the proposal would give the IRS access to an unprecedented and unwarranted amount of taxpayer information, most of which will be irrelevant to calculating taxable income, with significant cost and data security risk to taxpayers. While we strongly support tax compliance, creating a dragnet that captures almost all taxpayer accounts and not just those suspected of avoiding their tax obligations simply goes too far. Banks and bank customers alike are urging members of Congress to oppose this proposal,” said American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols.

“This proposal is deeply concerning for America’s credit unions and their 120 million members. Not only would the regulatory burden create an outsized impact on credit unions serving rural communities, but it raises serious privacy concerns for every consumer in the country. From the massive 2014 data breach at the Office of Personnel Management to this year’s IRS leak of federal tax returns, the federal government’s checkered history of warehousing personal data underscores the dangerous impracticality of this policy proposal,” said Credit Union National Association President and CEO Jim Nussle.

“The ABA is grateful for Sen. Tuberville’s swift action on this issue to protect both American taxpayers and all financial institutions across the country. Our bankers believe it is un-American to report on routine transactions of their account holders to any federal government agency. As Americans, we are all entitled to privacy regarding how we spend the money we have earned. Our bankers know that their customers depend on our banks to keep their money safe and protect this basic tenet of freedom,” said Alabama Bankers Association President and CEO Scott Latham.

“At a difficult time when credit unions are continuing to focus on meeting members’ needs, Congress is considering a proposal that would grant the IRS unwarranted access into the private lives of hardworking Alabamians through burdensome reporting regulations for financial institutions. LSCU appreciates the leadership of Senator Tuberville, who recently introduced the Protecting Financial Privacy Act in an effort to protect consumers and credit unions alike,” said League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates CEO Patrick La Pine.

“While President Biden was Vice President, the Obama administration weaponized the IRS for political gains. Apparently, this was just a warm-up:  Democrats are now pushing to turn the agency into a surveillance apparatus to spy on Americans’ financial transactions. Senator Tuberville’s Protecting Financial Privacy Act is a welcome defense of the privacy of all Americans that prevents the creation of a Democrat-run financial surveillance state,” said Heritage Action for America Vice President Garrett Bess.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.