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IRS in hot pursuit of cryptocurrency tax evaders

“Tax Text with Bitcoin” by Marco Verch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mon, 24 Jun 2019, 06:30 am UTC

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will start auditing taxpayers who own crypto-assets, according to Bloomberg.

As per the report, the IRS has established a list of taxpayers who have failed or underreported their earnings from crypto income. Identified U.S. citizens should expect to receive a notice letter in the near future.

In our exam operations, we’re starting to work those cases,” Mary Beth Murphy, IRS Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) Division commissioner, said.

A document matching program, a tool that detects a mass scale of taxpayers who underreport or do not report their income, was used to identify the individuals.

Murphy revealed that the SB/SE is working with the Large Business and International Division in undertaking these audits. The new tax reform on cryptocurrency transactions is expected to come out soon.

The latest news echoes the earlier statement of IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, saying that the agency is drafting its first crypto tax guidance since 2014 and working with internal and external stakeholders to identify key areas that need additional guidance.

Meanwhile, CCN reported that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has joined IRS’ mass crackdown to carry out enforcement against crypto tax crimes. The report revealed the principal deputy assistant attorney general of DOJ’s Tax Division Richard Zuckermann said that tax crimes related to cryptocurrencies will not go unnoticed or unpunished.

IRS tax investigator Gary Alford also warned that persuading a jury to convict a bitcoin tax evader is easier since the public now has more knowledge about crypto.

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