- Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Wednesday demanded cash transfer apps including Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, and Paypal to stop developing technology that would enable taxing transfers of $600 or more.
- Patronis also requested the companies to publicly release all communications with the federal government, alleging coordination with the IRS to build such tools.
- Florida lawmakers will consider legislation to prevent IRS actions during the forthcoming Legislative Session and recently launched an online portal to identify and address allegations of IRS discrimination.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Wednesday urged a quartet of cash transfer apps to refrain from developing technology that would enable taxing transfers of $600 or more, triggering reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for taxation purposes.
During a roundtable event in West Palm Beach, Patronis publicized a letter sent to Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, and Paypal demanding that the companies cease all operations relating to the development of technologies taxing Floridians from transactions exceeding $600 in value.
“The State of Florida will not sit idly by while Big Tech is building technologies to violate Floridians’ privacy, nor shakedown small business owners who are just trying to make a buck in an economy where everything is expensive,” said Patronis.
Patronis also requested the financial services to publicly release all communications between their apps and the federal government, asserting that the lines of communication are being guided by the IRS.
“We know darn well that they’re coordinating with the IRS to build these tools,” Patronis said. “These companies must come forward and tell the American public how much progress they’ve made in targeting Americans.”
The CFO further alluded to proposed forthcoming legislation to “protect Florida taxpayers from these tools,” though specific details were withheld.
“For the IRS to control you, they need to have full access to your finances, and they can’t do that unless they work with Big Tech to get access to you. As long as I am your CFO, we will not allow that in Florida,” concluded Patronis.
IRS announced last year that it plans to hire 87,000 new personnel and enforce reporting on popular payment apps, such as Venmo, CashApp, and Paypal for all cash transfers over $600.
In July, the State of Florida announced the launch of the Florida IRS Transparency Portal, an online platform aimed at identifying and addressing allegations of discrimination by IRS agents.
The portal allows individuals, private businesses, and non-profit organizations to report instances of discrimination and provide evidence to identify patterns of targeting based on political causes, practices, or beliefs. By collecting data, tPatronis stated upon its launch that Florida officials intend to gain insights into IRS activity, potentially facilitating the development of legislation to protect businesses in the state.
Patronis has been particularly stronghanded with the IRS in recent months, unveiling a four-pronged plan in February that he said was designed to “protect Floridians from government overreach” and “keep the IRS in check.” He also published a legislative draft last year that would require financial operatives to submit a quarterly report to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, reporting the number of probes sent by the IRS concerning Florida-domiciled account holders.
A clause in the text also suggested that a comprehensive annual report combining data from previous quarterly reports is to be delivered to the current Speaker of the House by the end of January of each calendar year.
Senate Bill 372 and House Bill 507, which were introduced in connection with the Patronis’ Pillars of IRS Protection proposal, were introduced by Sen. Blaise Ingoglia and Rep. Toby Overdorf, respectively, prior to the 2023 Legislative Session. However, both bills were killed by committees.