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IRS invites crypto firms to discuss cryptocurrencies and related issues

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Wed, 19 Feb 2020, 11:35 am UTC

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has invited cryptocurrency firms and advocates to join a summit on March 3, Bloomberg Tax reported.

The number of crypto startups invited was not disclosed. The meeting will focus on discussing how the agency wants to “balance taxpayer service with regulatory enforcement.” It will include four 90-minute panels on "technology updates, issues for cryptocurrency exchanges, tax return preparation, and regulatory guidance and compliance.”

The panelists both from the private and government sector are expected to “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 CoinDesk, the summit will be held at IRS’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association advocacy group told the publication that the agency has been looking into setting it up since last month.

“My understanding of the event is this is going to be something where the IRS is going to use this as an opportunity to learn from [participants] in the ecosystem but [it] may help inform IRS’s thinking,” she said.

The IRS effort to engage with crypto firms and experts comes amid its efforts to clamp down cryptocurrency tax evasion. It published new cryptocurrency guidance last autumn to help taxpayers understand reporting obligations for specifc transactions that involve cryptocurrencies.

In December 2019, eight members of the U.S. Congress sent a letter to the IRS to provide more clarity about the crypto tax. According to them, the IRS used hypothetical scenarios that don’t mirror the actual happenings in the crypto world.

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