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Six New Ways And Means Committee Members Object To IRS Information Reporting Plan

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

17 December 2003


It emerged this week that eight senior members of the House Ways and Means Committee have written to Treasury Secretary John Snow requesting the withdrawal of a proposed IRS regulation which would allow information sharing on non-resident alien bank deposit interest for tax purposes.

According to the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, which commented on the letter, six of the eight signatories to the letter have not previously expressed public objections to the proposed regulation. The CFP also revealed that this latest initiative brings the number of Representatives that have opposed the IRS plan to 66. 18 Senators have also objected.

In the letter, dated last Monday, the eight Representatives explained that:

"We are writing to express our concerns about a proposed IRS regulation (REG-133254-02) that would force U.S. banks to report the deposit interest they pay to nonresident aliens. The regulation is not needed to enforce our tax laws, but it would impose high costs. Our banking system has attracted more than $1.75 trillion from overseas...Nonresident alien bank accounts are only a slice of that total, to be sure, but any loss of capital is going to undermine the economy's performance."

They added: "We also are concerned that the IRS is overstepping its proper role. For more than 80 years, Congress has sought to attract capital to our financial system by not taxing nonresident alien bank deposit interest and not requiring the reporting of this income. The IRS certainly has the right to propose changes in tax policy, but the agency should not use its rulemaking power to overturn existing law."

The letter concluded: "We ask that this regulation be permanently withdrawn and look forward to your response."


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