Washington ready to tax cryptocurrency trade, targets $28 billion


The Senate’s bipartisan, $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal targets cryptocurrencies as a new source of tax revenue to help pay for it, and raises alarms in the unregulated fintech industry.

Legislation being finalized on Sunday will require cryptocurrency brokers and investors to report transactions to the bank, raising an estimated $28 billion. Internal Revenue Service.

It will slap similar rules on transactions involving Bitcoin and more than 8,600 cryptocurrencies currently applicable to stock and securities sales.

Congress’ Joint Taxation Committee said $28 billion would come from identifying transactions that exceed income taxes. Reporting requirements alone are expected to be enough to scare tax evaders into paying taxes, according to supporters of the plan.

The Treasury Department wants to slap the reporting requirement on transactions over $10,000, which is the same reporting threshold for cash and other business transactions.

Yet a new IRS The reporting rule is also a regulatory shot through the arc for the free-floating cryptocurrency markets.

Blockchain Association, an advocacy group for the cryptocurrency industry, IRS reporting rules will undermine the development of the US foreign exchange market.

The association says the definition of broker in the proposal is too broad and may include software developers and others involved in cryptocurrency transactions. Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, said that this would potentially push companies vital to cryptocurrency development away from business in the US.

“Unfortunately that’s what happens when legislation moves too fast,” he said.

The association is trying to change regulations as infrastructure progresses in the Senate. But the association is not entirely against reporting requirements, said Ms. Smith.

He and other cryptocurrency advocates claim that those who owe taxes on cryptocurrency transactions often do not know that there is a tax bill to pay.

Ms Smith said that as the cryptocurrency has gained a foothold in recent years and its popularity exploded during the coronavirus pandemic, the rules governing the fintech industry have not kept pace, creating uncertainty about what investors should do.

Unlike stock investments, crypto companies do not send their clients a 1099-B form stating how much money they have earned and how much tax they owe.

“They don’t get a 1099-B, so they don’t think about it,” Ms Smith said.

It is still unclear whether IRS will enable cryptocurrency brokers to submit such forms.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, Oregon Democrat, said that cryptocurrency is coming of age and deserves the same tax treatment as the rest of the financial industry.

“In 2011, a Bitcoin didn’t buy you a ham sandwich. “Today’s cryptocurrency creates huge new opportunities for tax fraudsters to rob the American people.”

NS IRS He estimates that $441 billion of taxes owed are not paid on time each year, meaning about 83.6% of taxes are paid on time. However, this figure does not include unpaid cryptocurrency taxes or foreign or illegal sources.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig told Mr Wyden’s committee that he did not put a number on how much of cryptocurrency-related taxes were unpaid, a figure the agency calls a tax gap.

But taking into account these and other forms of unpaid taxes, “it wouldn’t be strange to think that the tax gap is approaching or possibly exceeding $1 trillion a year,” he said.

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