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Cryptocurrency Enforcement News


March 13, 2017 - Cryptocurrencies vs. the IRS
Since 2014, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have been considered property, not currencies, by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), meaning they are subject to property tax laws.

Feb 17, 2017 - Why IRS 1099-B tax form won’t work for all digital currency
“The only way I see the 1099-B working is if Coinbase customers never remove their assets from the Coinbase ecosystem. As soon as a customer moves bitcoin away from Coinbase (e.g. to a Bitcoin wallet on the customer’s phone), Coinbase loses the cost basis. Once the cost basis is lost, it’s impossible to determine any short or long term gains or losses. The 1099-B form asks for data that Coinbase simply does not have access to and is nearly impossible for a customer to accurately calculate,” Woodin told CalvinAyre.com.

January 26, 2017 - Is The IRS Justified In Demanding Information On Millions Of Bitcoin Users?
“They want every scrap of email. Every scrap of transaction history. They want to know the devices that accessed your account and how. They want the password that access your account and, as I read it, access to the virtual currency. I don’t know how many people understand that. Once you have private keys, it’s the password that controls your virtual currency, [the money] can be sent out anywhere and never recovered again.”

January 23, 2017 - Bitcoin Tracker: Smooth(ish) Sailing?
The IRS seeks access to Coinbase’s user records as part of an investigation into alleged tax violations connected to digital currency. Coinbase user and attorney Jeffrey K. Berns filed a motion in federal court to block the IRS from accessing Coinbase users’ personal, transactional and security data.

January 18, 2017 - Coinbase To IRS On Efforts To ID Bitcoin Customers: We Have A Suggestion
Armstrong suggests that the goal of tax compliance could be achieved while still protecting privacy by requiring that virtual currency companies issue a form 1099-B, just like brokers do. Currently, there is no third-party information for virtual currency which, IRS had argued in its original filing for the subpoenas means that the "likelihood of underreporting is significant."

January 18, 2017 - Bitcoin Battle Heats Up as Coinbase Moves to Fight IRS Demand
"If the IRS were to approach Citibank, Fidelity, or Paypal and ask them to turn over all customer records, they would rightfully push back. And I feel we have the same obligation to do so," wrote Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong in a blog post after the filing.

January 10, 2017 - How Coinbase Traders Are Fighting Back IRS Attempts to Reveal Their Identities
Tax attorney Aaron Richter, who has written extensively about expanded IRS enforcement efforts in offshore and cryptocurrency areas, disagrees with this assessment. “I think the IRS will eventually prevail in the John Doe summons case, although the scope of the summons might be limited,” he told Motherboard.

January 5, 2017 - Jeffrey K Berns Files Second Motion to Oppose IRS Investigating Coinbase Users
Berns also argues the “misuse” of a John Doe summons by the government. He feels the IRS uses this tactic to evade inquiries regarding their motives for this investigation. So far, it remains unclear which basis can be used to defend the decision to investigate Coinbase users, particularly when it comes to tax evasion.

January 2, 2017 - Bitcoin Gains Mainstream Attraction in Switzerland Amid Price Rally
Around 50 percent of the front page of the Handelszeitung newspaper and its website was composed of bitcoin price coverage and regulatory issues, which most of the readers enjoyed. As bitcoin’s price rapidly climbed to US$950 in the past week, the Swiss news network continued to offer extensive coverage on bitcoin for investors and traders.

January 2, 2017 - IRS refuses to yield in Coinbase case, fires back at bitcoin customer
Coinbase, a start-up based in San Francisco with funding from several leading venture capital firms, was put under intense scrutiny after tax agents uncovered found three cases in which people were using Bitcoin to evade taxes. This prompted in the IRS request for a John Doe summon, which was approved by a Northern California District Court judge in November.

January 2, 2017 - Legal Sparring Continues in Bitcoin User’s Battle with IRS Tax Sweep
“Makes it clear that the IRS does not have a legitimate purpose in seeking substantial personal and financial information concerning approximately 3 million Americans.”

December 23, 2016 - Why US Intelligence Experts Have Been Monitoring Bitcoin
Juan Zarate, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and also on the board of advisers for Coinbase, told the weekly news magazine that virtual currencies pose a challenge. It runs contrary to the fundamentals of transparency and accountability that have been built over the last three decades to tackle terrorism, human trafficking, money-laundering and many other types of criminal activity.

2016.12.22 - Why Trump Budget Chief Pick is Good for Bitcoin
The legal and tax status of Bitcoin in the United States has remained murky, but with Trump's appointment pro-Bitcoin Mick Mulvaney to head the Office of Management and Budget, it may signal a favorable stance toward the digital currency over the next few years. (See also: Bitcoin is Money, Rules Federal Judge in Landmark Case)

December 20, 2016 - Customer Sues IRS to Halt Probe of Coinbase Bitcoin Accounts
A hearing over the subpoena is currently scheduled for January 17 of next year. So far, Coinbase has yet to turn over any of the customer information.

December 20, 2016 - Privacy Nightmare? Motion Filed to Quash IRS Bitcoin Summons
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the DOJ’s Tax Division, said the exponential growth of virtual currency has raised questions about tax compliance, and the summons sends a clear message that all taxpayers, regardless of the currency they use, must pay their fair share of taxes.

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