CEO Says Treasury Proposal Could Have Devastating Consequences

CEO Says IRS Plans Could Have Devastating Consequences

( – On September 7, the US Department of the Treasury issued a report that revealed the top 1% of the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers avoided paying as much as $160 billion in taxes.

The notice proposed increasing the IRS’ budget to expand enforcement efforts, information and technology systems and taxpayer services to make up part of the difference. It also suggested collecting information from financial institutions to help IRS officials audit the tax returns of sophisticated tax evaders.

Florida Bankers Association head Alex Sanchez discussed the latter suggestion with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo the following day. According to him, the proposal is ill-advised and would “kill” community banks and harm small business owners.

Sanchez explained that having banks and other financial institutions report every withdrawal or deposit of $600 or more was “unbelievably ridiculous.” He also reminded viewers that even progressive firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) suggested focusing on high-income tax evaders and not working-class Americans.

Sanchez concluded his remarks stating that there’s a better way of collecting taxes than violating the privacy of every American taxpayer. He suggested hiring more auditors to review the tax returns of America’s highest earners.

The Treasury Department’s own report bolsters Sanchez’s claim. It pointed out that the IRS only experiences a 1% rate of noncompliance from ordinary wage and salary income. However, “opaque income sources” from America’s wealthy elite lead to an annual noncompliance rate as high as 55%. While the report states that its intention is to target high-income evaders, Sanchez thinks lower earners will be impacted the most.

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