New York Times readers panicked when the outlet reported that President Joe Biden’s administration may require banks to report information on customers with $600 or more in their bank accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
More than 3,800 people commented on the Times’ Facebook post. Many of the comments were critical of the Biden administration for the measure or shocked that the president would do such a thing.
“It’s government overreach and will be used to target people who cannot afford legal counsel to defend themselves, which is something the I.R.S. *already* does; comes down hard on people least able to afford a proper legal defense while the wealthy illegally hiding assets in offshore accounts are left alone because it takes too much effort on the government’s part to track their money and bring claims against them to court,” one reader said.
The comment was liked by 452 people. (RELATED: Biden’s Pick For Banking Regulator Once Praised Former Soviet Union For Having ‘No Gender Pay Gap’)
“The $600 threshold probably covers most of the people in the U.S.,” another comment, which was liked more than 300 times, said. “Nice cover story they’re using about ‘taxes’ so they can get the financial records of almost everyone.”
Another person argued that the $600 threshold was too low because the measure would target people who can’t afford a lawyer to fight allegations of tax evasion.
“The problem is that rich people and corporations have accountants and lawyers to help fight IRS audits. Middle class people don’t,” they said. “And so the IRS will be incentivized to go after the low hanging fruit. People who can’t fight back and will pay the IRS even if they are not guilty. Why set a $600 threshold? Why not $600,000?”
One person called the measure “government overreach.”
“We have a right to privacy,” the comment read. “There is a better way to deal with tax evasion without obliterating privacy.”
Many others claimed that the measure was “targeting the wrong demographic.” Someone wrote that “the middle class are not the ones they should be looking at.”
“Biden’s doing everything he can to get Americans not to vote for him again,” one person wrote. “His SEC regime is even more corrupt than Trumps [sic], which until recently I thought was impossible.”
Another comment put it bluntly.
“What a freaking joke – dystopian USA.”
More than 3,000 people responded to the post with the “angry” reaction.
The new rule would force banks to disclose information about money going in and out of accounts with more than $600 in funds annually. Its purpose is to raise funds for Biden’s initiatives, according to the Times.
Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo proposed a measure that would have prevented the IRS from having access to Americans’ banking records, but Senate Democrats rejected the proposal in August. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said that the access to private banking records was part of an effort to crack down on tax evasion.