A Sneaky Way to
Breach Your Privacy
By Virginia Varela, Pres/CEO of Golden Pacific Bank and Vice Chair of Friends of Traditional Banking
As a banker, I am very protective of the rights of our customers, including the right to privacy. Therefore, I’m alarmed by a recent proposal being discussed in Washington, DC, that would require financial institutions to report a larger range of financial information about their customers to the IRS.
If you use the services of a financial institution, you should know about this new
reporting plan—one that could force banks to report the inflows and outflows on all
personal and business accounts with a balance of $600 or more. Banks would have no choice about reporting this information to the IRS.
I’m concerned that mining for information for the IRS through financial institution
reporting is a misguided proposal for these obvious reasons:
• It will be intrusive and indiscriminate for bank customers
• It will undermine the goal of bringing unbanked Americans into the banking system
• It will increase taxpayer complexity and confusion
• It will make community banks and other financial institutions agents of the IRS
while imposing new reporting burdens
• It will expose banks to penalties for inadvertent errors
• It will channel more information into the IRS than it can process.
Instead of a fishing expedition that infringes on the privacy of bank customers—and in the process, depletes resources that could otherwise be focused on serving local
communities—the IRS should close the tax gap with the massive amount of data it
We community bankers are busy enough continuing our economic response to the
pandemic to serve our customer base. As a banker, I’m thinking of our customer’s best interests. I stand OPPOSED to this proposal and remain protective of bank customer privacy!
If you want to learn more about this proposal or share your opinion with policy makers, visit “banklocally.org/privacy
”. The private life you save may be your own.