On September 8, 2023, the IRS announced a multitude of compliance initiatives aimed at high-income taxpayers, partnerships, digital assets, FBARs and labor brokers. According to the announcement, the IRS has finalized its “top-to-bottom review” of current enforcement efforts and intends to zero in on these matters in the near future. As expected, the impetus for change—according to the announcement—was Congress’s decision to provide the IRS with additional funding through its passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
Providers of digital asset services would be subjected to tax reporting regulations akin to those governing brokers of securities and analogous financial instruments, as outlined in the inaugural set of proposed regulations delineating protocols for assets like cryptocurrency and nonfungible tokens. These guidelines, disseminated by the Internal Revenue Service on Friday, introduce the requirement for digital asset brokers to submit information returns and payee statements relating to asset sales conducted on behalf of customers during specific transactions, in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 6045.
Additionally, the comprehensive 282-page proposal recommended that brokers incorporate gain or loss details and basis information for sales occurring on or after January 1, 2026, under specific circumstances. This provision is designed to equip customers with the requisite information for compiling their tax returns.
The effective date of these regulations is slated for transactions from the preceding year, with enforcement beginning in 2026.
Law360 covered the topic in an article on August 25, 2023 where Gray Reed Partner Joshua Smeltzer was one of the experts interviewed. Board Certified in Tax Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Joshua uses his experience as a former litigator for the U.S. Department of Justice to defend clients in tax audits, tax appeals, and litigation in Federal District Court, U.S. Tax Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and tax issues in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.…
UPDATE: On August 15, 2022, Judge Otis D. Write II in the Central District of California entered an order approving service of the summons by the IRS on sFOX for account and transaction records. The Department of Justice entered a press release the following day with Commissioner Chuck Rettig quoted as saying “the John Doe Summons remains a highly valuable enforcement tool that the U.S. government will use again and again to catch tax cheats and this is yet one more example of that.” Deputy Assistant Attorney General David A. Hubbert of the Department of Justice Tax Division was also quoted as well saying “taxpayers who transact with cryptocurrency should understand that income and gains from cryptocurrency transactions are taxable.”
The IRS knows it has a problem, in that it knows there are far more cryptocurrency transactions than are being reported on tax returns. The IRS may also get an $80 billion increase in funding for enforcement that will help solve that problem. What can taxpayers and cryptocurrency service providers expect? More John Doe Summonses. If there was any doubt, the IRS filed two new John Doe Summons requests (here and here) this week on cryptocurrency service provider sFOX. sFOX is the full-service crypto prime dealer for institutional investors, providing brokerage services for digital assets. It’s also now a target for information by the IRS and the Department of Justice Tax Division.…