(The Center Square) – The Biden administration's proposal to gather data on personal and business bank accounts has drawn concern from Kansas Republican officials.
“Bank account surveillance raises a whole host of constitutional issues," Sam MacRoberts, litigation director with Kansas Justice Institute, told The Center Square. "In our view, there are solid reasons why the government should not be permitted to snoop on you and your accounts without a warrant.”
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, along with 20 other Republican attorneys general, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last month saying that if banks reported on mundane activities, such as paying rent, paying for groceries, and other activities, this would turn them into nothing more than data processors for the IRS and put many more Americans that have done nothing wrong under scrutiny.
“The new reporting requirements would raise questions about customers’ right to privacy, create unnecessary and expensive burdens for banks and raise the cost of tax preparation for small businesses,” Doug Wareham, Kansas Bankers Association president and CEO, said in a statement provided by Kansas Policy Institute. “While all banks would be affected, small community banks with limited internal resources will be especially burdened by this new requirement. The new requirements will require a massive and expensive compliance effort to track and report inflows and outflows on all bank products.”
The initiative is aimed at preventing and capturing tax fraud.
In response to the backlash, Democrats changed the proposal by raising the threshold amount to $10,000 and exclude wages and federal benefits from the total. That move offers little comfort to Kansans who want to maintain their privacy.
"Kansans do not want the federal government to have more information and intrude upon their privacy," U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement. "In addition, the cost of complying will mean our small financial institutions in Kansas will have the burden of more regulations forced upon them."