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Crypto Investors Beware: IRS Crypto Tax Reporting Rules for $10k+ Transactions Now in Effect

The controversial crypto tax reporting requirements within the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed into law in 2021 are now in effect as of January 1.

These new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules mandate that cryptocurrency brokers report personal information on digital asset transactions over $10,000, including customers’ names, addresses, and social security numbers, within 15 days.

While the goal is increased transparency and reduced tax avoidance, the rules have drawn criticism for being vague and difficult to comply with.

According to Jerry Brito, executive director at cryptocurrency policy think tank Coin Center, many crypto users “will find it difficult to comply” with the “tricky” reporting requirements without further IRS guidance.

Uncharted Territory for Crypto Investors and Regulators

For investors transacting through centralized exchanges like Coinbase or Kraken, compliance will fall on the platform operator. But for peer-to-peer deals or mining proceeds, the responsibility shifts to the individual.

New crypto tax reporting obligations took effect on Jan 1.

If you receive $10k or more in crypto you now have an obligation to report the transaction (including names, addresses, SS numbers, etc.) to the IRS within 15 days under threat of a felony charge.

— Jerry Brito (@jerrybrito) January 2, 2024

Brito raised questions about specifics such as which parties will be responsible for reporting in scenarios like miner rewards over $10,000 and decentralized on-chain exchanges. He argued that without more clarity, some filers may attempt compliance but risk accidentally committing a felony in the process.

“If you engage in an on-chain decentralized exchange of crypto for crypto and you therefore receive $10,000 in cryptocurrency, who do you report?” Brito questioned. “And by what standard should you measure whether an amount of a particular cryptocurrency is equivalent to more than $10,000?”

Brito also talked about the privacy implications of the tax reporting rules now taking effect. Requiring brokers to collect and share personally identifiable information on customers’ crypto transactions with the IRS poses cybersecurity and identity theft risks, he contends.

The enhanced 1099-B tax reporting requirements for digital asset transactions over $10,000 were initially set to begin in January 2023 but were pushed back a year over confusion regarding the rules.

In August 2023, Coin Center proposed that the IRS establish a de minimis exemption for smaller crypto transactions. The new requirements have gone into effect without such an exemption in place, however.

Now the provisions are in effect, meaning crypto brokers must begin sending comprehensive reports to the IRS for all applicable 2024 transactions.

We’ve been trying to sound the alarm on 6050I since Nov 2021 (we filed the court case in June 2022) and are somewhat amused that folks are getting it now. Here’s a twist I find especially amusing that you all might appreciate now:

If two day traders exchange crypto A for…

— Jerry Brito (@jerrybrito) January 2, 2024

Treasury Promised Future Guidance on Crypto Taxes

Amid the confusion surrounding the reporting rules, before they took effect, the U.S. Treasury Department stated they planned to release more guidance to aid in compliance. No formal guidelines have yet been issued, however, leaving filers unsure how to properly report anonymous or decentralized crypto transactions of over $10,000.

The goal of the increased crypto tax reporting is to close the tax gap — the difference between taxes owed and collected — which the IRS estimates to be about $1 trillion per year. Whether these controversial new requirements on crypto brokers will improve voluntary tax compliance and revenue collection is unclear. For now, cryptocurrency investors transacting over $10,000 should prepare for the IRS to receive detailed personal data on their 2024 transactions.

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