New ICBA Polling Conducted by Morning Consult Released as Thousands of Concerned Consumers Contact Lawmakers to Scrap Proposal
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 7, 2021) — Two-thirds of voters (67%) oppose a proposal that would allow the IRS to collect bank account deposit and withdrawal information from American consumers, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) announced. The results come as thousands of community bank customers and other consumers contact their members of Congress in opposition via banklocally.org/privacy.
According to the ICBA poll conducted by Morning Consult, opposition to the new IRS reporting is bipartisan and strenuous, with more than half of voters (53%) strongly opposed and only 22% supportive.
“A bipartisan supermajority of Americans clearly opposes Washington’s plan for the IRS to monitor their bank account information, which Congress is now quickly advancing through a budget reconciliation package that requires only a simple majority to pass,” ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey said. “Through ICBA’s poll conducted by Morning Consult and thousands of messages delivered to Congress by consumers, Americans have made clear the government has no business monitoring their financial account transaction histories.”
The fiscal 2022 budget proposal Congress is considering would require banks and other financial institutions to report to the IRS on the deposits and withdrawals of business and personal accounts. The poll also found:
- Trust Issues: More than three in five voters (64%) do not trust the IRS much or at all to monitor their deposit and withdrawal information.
- Including 50% of Democrats, 73% of Independents, and 75% of Republicans.
- Security Concerns: More than half of voters (54%) do not trust the IRS to keep their financial data safe from data breaches.
- Distrust is highest among voters over the age of 45, those who make under $100,000 per year, and those in suburban and rural areas.
- Systemic Disruptions: 55% of respondents said their banking habits would change a lot or some if they knew their deposits and withdrawals were being reported to the IRS—potentially driving some out of the banking sector and increasing the number of unbanked individuals.
- Those who would change their habits include 57% of Democrats and Republicans, 61% of voters in urban areas, and 58% of voters in rural areas.
The polling indicates that consumers’ top concerns with the proposal are:
- The government has no business monitoring financial account transaction histories.
- The proposal will hurt small businesses, risk double-counting their income, and increase their tax burden and audits.
- IRS data collection is an invasion of privacy, and the IRS already collects enough information to watch for tax evaders.
Consumers with concerns are encouraged by ICBA and community bankers nationwide to make their voices heard in Washington before this new reporting regime is enacted. More information and a customizable message to members of Congress are available at banklocally.org/privacy.
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. ICBA is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education, and high-quality products and services.
With nearly 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ more than 700,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5.7 trillion in assets, over $4.7 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.6 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org