OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Attorney General John O’ Conner is one of 20 Republican attorneys general who are calling on the Biden administration to drop a recent proposal that would increase reporting requirements for banks.
They sent a letter Friday to both President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. They say the proposal stands in direct opposition to privacy that Americans are entitled to.
If the proposal were signed into law, banks would have to annually report on total inflows and outflows on accounts, both business and personal, with a balance over $600. The banks would not report details on individual transactions like what the money was spent on — only the total amount of money flowing in and out of those accounts.
Members of the state’s banking community, including Quail Creek Bank COO Carol Fehrle, says if this legislation is approved, it would be a nightmare.
“It’s very concerning to us,” Fehrle said. “The IRS probably has over a billion attacks on their site on an annual basis, so in addition to that, it is a cybersecurity risk. We just think it’s a privacy breach waiting to happen.”
The Oklahoma Bankers Association has also already come out against this proposal.
“It would be an unfunded mandate on the banks,” said OBA President Adrian Beverage. “Especially in those smaller banks where everybody wears a bunch of hats. You’re just gonna have to add another hat to the duties.”
Beverage says this is going to force banks to redo their systems to track this information.
He also says the state’s representatives in Congress have already noticed the opposition from back home.
“We’ve heard from all of our folks in Washington that they don’t remember the last time they’ve heard from so many constituents on any specific issue,” he said.
The OBA’s opposition mirrors the message from the American Bankers Association, who released a letter to Congress last month saying, “This is bad public policy and should be rejected.”
Democrats say the proposal would help the IRS go after wealthy Americans who are not paying the taxes they owe. Administration officials and Democratic lawmakers have also noted that the proposal would not require the IRS to receive information about specific transactions, only the total amounts of money that came in and came out of an account in a year.
If this were passed by Congress and signed into law, the proposal would go into effect for tax years after Dec. 31st of next year.
KFOR reached out to the Biden administration but have not heard back, and when News 4 reached out to the IRS on what implementation would look like, they said they do not comment on pending legislation.