Charlie Crist: Senate Should Not Include IRS Reporting Requirement in Build Back Better Act

Last week, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., urged the U.S. Senate to pass the “Build Back Better Act” and follow the U.S. House’s lead and not include a requirement having the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) look at more financial transactions.

The $2 trillion proposal, backed by the Biden administration, passed the House earlier this month on a party-line vote. While the bill includes almost $80 billion for the IRS over the next ten years, the bill includes a provision that “no use of these funds is intended to increase taxes on any taxpayer with taxable income below $400,000.”

Crist, who is running for governor for the third time and who won that office as a Republican in 2006, was the first congressional Democrat to oppose a proposal being kicked around to have any transaction more than $600 be reported to the IRS. Last week, Crist wrote U.S. Senate Ron Wyden, D-Oreg., the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, and U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, the ranking Republican on the committee, calling on the Senate to not include that reporting requirement.

“As Florida families are feeling the burden of higher prices for gas and other goods, they’re counting on Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act to lower costs and support families. The last thing anyone needs is for the IRS to be keeping an eye on their checking account,” said Crist. “I’m calling on the Senate to advance Build Back Better without the unpopular IRS provision so families can keep their Child Tax Cut and rooftop solar will be cheaper for the middle class. We need to get the job done to invest in lowering costs, create jobs, and fight climate change. The IRS reporting provision would threaten this critical progress. This is not about right versus left. This is right versus wrong.”

“As you undertake the critical work advancing the Build Back Better Act, I ask that you avoid adding divisive IRS account reporting requirements to the package. I strongly support President Biden’s efforts to increase tax compliance and that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans pay their fair share, but granting the IRS unprecedented access to bank accounts is not the path forward. The American public, tax policy experts, financial institutions, and state legislatures have lined up to oppose including this new policy in the House version of the bill. All share a concern that this policy is too broad and will likely disadvantage small businesses, community banks and working families – those most vulnerable as the economy strives to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Crist wrote the senators.

“As you know, the House-passed bill includes critical provisions of the President’s Build Back Better agenda, including extending the Child Tax Credit and essential investments fighting climate change and creating jobs. The one year expanded Child Tax Credit and permanent refundability will lift up more than 35 million American households, supporting families and cutting child poverty in half. The bill would also restore the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to 30 percent and extend it through the end of 2031, putting clean, affordable, rooftop solar within reach for so many middle class families – something I have long-advocated for! There is much to celebrate in this historic legislation, and I fear these accomplishments would be jeopardized by inclusion of a new tax policy that faced bipartisan rejection in the House,” Crist added. “The American people are depending on us to get this done. And we will get this done! Thank you for consideration of my request.”

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has also lined up against the more stringent IRS reporting requirement and credit unions across the nation sent out more than 800,000 messages on the matter.

“It’s because of bold, fierce 360-degree advocacy from CUNA, Leagues, credit unions, and members that this bill does not contain the increased reporting requirements present in early forms of the bill,” said Jim Nussle, the president and CEO of CUNA. “As it heads to the Senate, we continue to encourage lawmakers to refrain from including this harmful provision in their final plan.”

Kevin Derby
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