Coinbase, The IRS, and Cryptocurrency Law

February 5, 2018

cryptocurrency tax lawyer
The IRS and Cryptocurrency: Will the agency cross-reference Coinbase records with tax returns?

You’ve probably heard the news by now: Several months back, a federal California court forced Coinbase to fork over account records. The ruling means that IRS agents can now identify people who’ve bought and sold over $20,000 worth of BTC between 2013 and 2015. What does that mean for token investors and traders? It may be time to consult a crypto tax attorney.

The IRS and Cryptocurrency: Uncle Sam Wants His Cut

According to the IRS, about 900 people declared digital currency gains between 2013 and 2015 — which is a far cry from the 14,000 accounts affected by the Coinbase decision. The discrepancy is glaring; our guess is that a whole lot of people will start getting letters from the IRS asking about crypto holdings.

Folks who have already made a good-faith effort to report cryptocurrency gains probably have nothing to fear. But if you’ve willfully been hiding assets, it’s probably time to consult a tax attorney who is up-to-date on digital currency; because as it stands now, the IRS views tokens as a taxable commodity.

State and Federal Politicians Are Mulling Over Potential Crypto Laws

Recently, several representatives in the House introduced a bill that would tax exempt crypto transactions under $600. In other parts of the House, another group of lawmakers is considering a bill that would empower border agents to probe, “How much crypto do you have in your wallet?”

Cryptocurrencies also have state legislators scrambling — and they’re approaching the issue from completely different corners of the ring. Some jurisdictions are positioning themselves as “consumer advocates” and trying to implement what they see as fraud-deterring regulations. Other states are clearing their law books of potential regulatory obstacles, as they see crypto and blockchain as “the next Internet.”

What Does All This Cryptocurrency Regulatory Movement Mean?

All this regulatory movement has cleaved a philosophical split in the sector. One faction of the crypto community thinks it’s a travesty. Others insist it’s a harbinger of widespread acceptance that will spur industry investment and innovation.

At the risk of sounding non-committal, there are merits to both viewpoints, but the looming question remains: Can lawmakers craft responsible legislation that both protects consumers and buoys the burgeoning blockchain industry? Time will tell.

Connect With A Cryptocurrency Lawyer

Do you need a crypto lawyer? If yes, you’ve landed in the right place. Our firm, Gordon Law, handles all manners of cryptocurrency issues — from the transactional to litigatory. We can walk you through an ICO or represent you in a crypto-tax entanglement with the IRS. Get in touch today to begin the conversation.

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