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Current budget bill ‘expansive overreach’ by U.S. government

Our Founding Fathers could never have envisioned a government so large and intrusive that it would regularly monitor your finances at the individual transaction level. Incredulously, the Biden administration’s current budget bill requires that financial institutions report every one of your transactions greater than $600 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Our community bank works hard to fulfill its core values, one of which is confidentiality. While we understand it is necessary to follow bank secrecy rules and currency transaction rules, we do not believe the intention of these rules was to report such detailed information about our customers to the Internal Revenue Service.

As a victim myself of unemployment fraud, I contacted the IRS over a year ago about protecting my personal information. I have yet to get a final resolution on the matter. I continue getting letters every couple of months from the IRS, telling me they are working on this matter and will keep me posted.

What makes the IRS think they can protect or even evaluate the millions of transactions that this reporting requirement would impose on banks? Our bank will follow the rules as we always do. However, I encourage you to contact your local federal legislators and other federal representatives and let them know that you do not support this expansive overreach by the government.

This part of the Biden budget proposal has received little attention even though it is clearly an invasion of your privacy and our commitment to confidentiality.

Regardless of your party affiliation, is this what you think the government should be doing? It will have access to all your transactions greater than $600. While there is talk of raising that level to $10,000, which would narrow down the transactions, it is still a significant overreach on the part of the government.

Please take time to share your concerns by contacting your senators and congress persons today.

Bill Harrod, President and CEO, First Harrison Bank