The Inland Revenue Service (IRS) is to hold a crypto tax summit next month in order to help selected companies and individuals with exposure to cryptocurrencies with their tax affairs. According to Bloomberg, the event, which is invite only, will consist of panel discussions on various aspects of crypto and tax, including tax return preparation and regulatory compliance.
IRS Just Paying Lip Service on Crypto Tax?
The event, which takes place on March 3 in Washington D.C., will see guests from the private sector and the government “share their views and engage with the audience, which will include IRS personnel from across the spectrum of tax administration, and individuals from other bureaus or offices within the Department of Treasury,” according to the invitation.
Various crypto entities have been calling for clarity on the tax situation regarding cryptocurrencies for years, including at the end of last year when members of the US Congress sent a letter to the IRS demanding such clarity. This meeting could well be a response to that request, but given its limited scope it has the feel of lip service being paid rather than a genuine desire to assist crypto investors in paying their taxes.
Move Comes Ahead of “Significant” Crypto Regulations
The IRS has been notably hard on crypto investors of all types, from accidental millionaires to hedge funds, clamping down on crypto tax evasion by demanding payments and forcing these individuals and companies to prove them wrong or pay up, a practice labelled “offensive” by crypto tax software creator Sean Ryan.
The recent crackdown on perceived crypto tax evasion by crypto investors by the IRS comes at a time when US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has promised “significant” changes to the way cryptocurrencies are regulated.
Such changes, which could include tougher controls on US citizens cashing out their earnings, will only increase the correspondence the IRS has with crypto investors, and could potentially exacerbate what Ryan called the IRS’ reliance on “bad information” from exchanges. This bad information, Ryan says, is caused by exchanges having incomplete records of where deposits originate from, leading to inaccurate data regarding capital gains earnings.
Hopefully notes from the meeting on March 3 will make their way into the public domain to better assist law abiding crypto investors pay their dues.