Lankford, Hagerty, Colleagues Push to Stop IRS Snooping of Americans’ Venmo, PayPal Accounts

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today joined Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and a group of Republican senators in reintroducing the Stop the Nosy Obsession with Online Payments, or SNOOP, Act, a bill to strike the tax code provision inserted by the Biden Administration in the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that requires third-party payment platforms, such as Venmo and PayPal, to report businesses’ gross transaction volumes totaling more than $600 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Joining Lankford and Hagerty in introducing the legislation are Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Kennedy (R-LA), John Barrasso (R-WY), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

“I stand firmly against the IRS snooping on Americans, intruding in Oklahomans’ personal finances through online payments like Venmo or PayPal, and forcing financial institutions to report on Americans’ spending,” said Lankford. “Venmo could include paying friends back or sending money to a college student. The IRS has no business tracking those private transactions. IRS audits are already an option to look into any individual or company the IRS feels is not correctly paying the taxes they owe. It’s sad that we need this bill in place to make sure we protect Americans’ private financial transactions through online payments from the IRS, but it is sadly necessary. This overstep should not be the solution to cover out-of-control federal spending.”

“The Biden Administration has proven relentless in its attempt to invade the privacy of Americans’ lives and finances,” said Hagerty. “It is regrettable that this Administration still insists on advancing their perilous and oppressive political agenda to the detriment of taxpayers’ privacy, heedless of the IRS’s failed track record of protecting Americans’ confidential data and the deep concern of the American people that they serve. Though Republican efforts to repeal these new requirements were ignored for two years, the Biden Administration took a politically-timed short-term step to save themselves from the consequences of their own actions, but merely delaying this intrusive provision is not enough; It is past time we stand up for our small business owners and put an end to this egregious and unwarranted overreach for good.”

“It is concerning to me that the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress are continuing to place heavier burdens on small businesses across Wyoming,” said Lummis. “The IRS has a history of unfairly targeting businesses they find distasteful and leaving private consumer information vulnerable to bad actors. The last thing we should give them is access to more of our financial information. I am proud to reintroduce the SNOOP Act with my colleagues to push back on this government overreach.”

“This change to the tax code, pushed through by Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration, effectively increases taxes and further complicates the tax filing process for thousands of entrepreneurial individuals and small businesses,” said Hoeven. “While the IRS wisely delayed the implementation of this provision for one-year, we will continue working to provide certainty to the American taxpayer by fully repealing this new burdensome reporting threshold.”

“President Biden’s administration is bent on weaponizing the IRS against hard-working, tax-paying Americans,” said Kennedy. “Louisianans, and all Americans, are entitled to privacy, and Congress must stop unjustified tax policies that do little more than harass and track the personal finances of hardworking Americans.”

“Joe Biden wants to give his supersized IRS a license to spy on hardworking Americans. Republicans will fight to stop Democrats from giving more power to an agency that can’t even keep tax records secure,” said Barrasso. “Our legislation stops this power-grab dead in its tracks. It also ensures the government isn’t invading the privacy of law-abiding citizens of Wyoming and across the country.”

Prior to the ARP, payment providers were only required to report information when a payee had more than  200 commercial transactions per year that exceeded $20,000. As a result of the new provision, thousands of small businesses will have to fill out 1099-Ks to provide their personal information to the IRS, despite the IRS’ poor history of safeguarding Americans’ personal data.

Last year, the Washington Examiner reported that third-party payment processors, like Venmo and PayPal, will be required to report these business transactions. During the 117th Congress, Democrats used the IRS to target conservative political organizations and private citizens to further their political agenda. Although the effort ultimately failed, the Biden Administration attempted to force banks to report data on all bank accounts with more than $600 in annual transactions, which would have allowed them to pry even further into Americans’ lives.  In December, the IRS announced a one-year delay in increasing reporting thresholds for third-party payment platforms.