“The Biden Administration’s proposed policy that would allow the federal government to comb through nearly every American’s bank account is an absurd, illegal, and unconstitutional intrusion of privacy,” said Attorney General Schmitt
. “Beyond the privacy issues, this proposal would require banks to fundamentally transform their business model, which likely means higher costs for consumers, and would additionally create a huge security risk. This proposal must be shelved immediately.”
In the letter, the attorneys general argue that banks across the country will have to transform the way in which they conduct business in order to comply with the proposed reporting requirements, including investing significant amounts of money in data collection and other systems. The letter argues that consumers will be punished in many ways, as banks would likely pass on costs in the form of fees or higher interest rates, not to mention the centralized storage of sensitive information would provide cyber criminals with an additional target to exploit with information about nearly every American.
The letter states, “This proposal stands in direct opposition to privacy that Americans are entitled to and deserve. The Federal Government combing through almost every American’s bank account without cause, or even suspicion, is unacceptable, illegal and contrary to the well-founded constitutional principles against illegal searches and seizures.”
The group says that if stopping financial criminals or punishing those who evade taxes is the goal of the administration, they will gladly join to find the right solutions based on the rule of law, but violating the rights of virtually every American with a bank account is not the answer.
In addition to Missouri, the coalition also includes the attorneys general of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
A copy of the letter can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/ag--1359255-irs_rule_bank_account_reporting.pdf?sfvrsn=1b0048e0_2