Financial Service Associations Urge Legislation on IRS Income Verification
The IRS doesn’t want financial service companies to be able to verify the income of customers, at least not through official channels like the Income Verification Express Services (IVES) system. On January 2 and 3, the IRS announced it would only allow IVES transcripts to be made available “to mortgage lending firms for the sole purpose of obtaining a mortgage on residential or commercial real property (land and buildings).” Government agencies will also not be allowed to use IVES.
“The IRS is implementing the provisions of the Taxpayer First Act (P. Law 116-25) with increased privacy and security requirements for access to confidential tax information,” it announced. “If tax transcript information is required by your firm for other than securing a mortgage, we recommend requesting it directly from the taxpayer.”
But relying on getting the information directly from the taxpayer defeats the whole purpose in more ways than one, many financial service trade associations say. On Wednesday, a letter jointly signed by the American Bankers Association, America’s Credit Unions, American Fintech Council, Consumer Data Industry Association, Electronic Transactions Association, Financial Technology Association, Innovative Lending Platform Association, Independent Community Bankers Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, Responsible Business Lending Coalition, and Small Business Finance Association urged senior ranking members of Congress to pass H.R. 3335. Dubbed the IRS eIVES Modernization and Anti-Fraud Act, it would “ensure the IRS follows the original intent of Congress to modernize the system and prevent disruptions to the consumer and commercial lending industries.”January 25, 2024