Virtual currency transactions, such as the purchase or sale of Bitcoin, are reportable transactions on your federal income tax returns, as a recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) press release states. Failure to report digital currency transactions can lead to audit and possible penalty or interest assessments. The IRS has issued Notice 2014-21 (here) to provide guidance for taxpayers and tax return preparers regarding such transactions. To read the full IRS press release on this topic, click here.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently ordered Coinbase Inc., the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange and storage platform, to provide information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about accountholders who have entered into transactions valued at $20,000 or more between 2013 and 2015. Cryptocurrency or virtual currency, such as bitcoin, has come under significant scrutiny by the IRS lately.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has just obtained specialized software for identifying users of bitcoins and other virtual currency. According to a work contract obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by The Daily Beast, the IRS hopes to use this software "to identify and obtain evidence on individuals using bitcoin to either laundry money or conceal income as part of tax fraud or other Federal crimes."
The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) team was recently recognized by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at its third annual Law Enforcement Awards ceremony on May 9, 2017, for the IRS-CI's cyber security work investigating the sale of narcotics on the dark web. Certain targets were identified by the financial information involved in these illegal sales, despite their efforts to conceal the proceeds using Bitcoins and Bitcoin laundering.
If you engage in virtual currency transactions, be sure that you have reported them! Many people are not aware that any U.S. taxpayer who has engaged in transactions involving digital currency must report any income received from such sources.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently issued a report on the IRS' strategy for addressing income produced through virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, litecoin, and dogecoin. Use of virtual currency has grown in recent years, due in part to service benefits such as faster turnaround and lower transaction fees, and in part due to the relative anonymity of the parties involved in such transactions.