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IRS Steps Up Search For Crypto Tax Cheats

IRS Steps Up Search For Crypto Tax Cheats

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) estimates that millions of transactions with cryptocurrencies go unreported, despite awareness of tax rules and measures to create lawsuits against taxpayers who do not report cryptocurrencies.

Although taxpayers often think that they should not worry about exposure to crime, offenders can face high fines and prison terms, and anyone convicted can face up to five years in prison or fines of up to $ 250,000.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said that the decision to increase the IRS's criminal investigations and letters to approximately 10,000 cryptocurrency participants in 2019 was a start. Those who receive and ignore letters are vulnerable.

A checkbox in Schedule 1 of the draft IRS 2019 form 1040 requires taxpayers to indicate whether in 2019 they sold, negotiated, bought, or delivered a financial interest in cryptocurrencies.

IRS Notice 2014-21 indicates that cryptocurrency is considered tax property; therefore, losses are required when a loss is triggered, and taxes are paid when recording income.

You also need to know when and how much you paid for the cryptocurrency, including what you received for it.

The IRS is taking steps to create lawsuits against taxpayers who do not report cryptocurrencies. Despite awareness of current tax rules, the IRS seems to believe that millions of transactions may go unreported. Taxpayers may think they may not be caught, but the risks are increasing, and the best way to bypass fines is to disclose and communicate as precisely as possible. Taxpayers might think that the IRS can penalize them, but they may assume that they don't have to worry about criminal exposure. However, criminals can face heavy penalties or even a criminal investigation. Anyone found guilty of tax evasion can face up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $ 250,000.

The 10,000 recipients who received the IRS cryptographic letters and ignored these letters can be vulnerable. After receiving this letter, it is more difficult to say that they made an innocent mistake or did not understand it. The draft IRS 1040 form for 2019 also contained a cryptocurrency issue. 

After all, the Tax Department of the Justice Department has successfully stated that the simple fact of not checking a box in FBAR reports is inherent in itself. Intentional bankruptcies, as opposed to involuntary actions, have heavier penalties and a greater threat of criminal investigation. The tax division of the Department of Justice, in partnership with the IRS, is already involved in several criminal cases related to cryptocurrency. 

IRS Notice 2014-21 specifies that cryptocurrency is taxable. Therefore, you pay taxes if you make a profit, and you can claim losses when you make a loss. You need to know when you bought a cryptocurrency, how much you paid for, and what you got from it. For stocks and real estate, it can be simple. For cryptocurrency, this can be much more difficult. The IRS Frequently Asked Questions states that all profits or losses related to virtual currency must be reported, whether you have received Form W-2 or Form 1099. 

Many cryptocurrency investors have made several acquisitions over the years. The IRS clarifies that the basis is determined by the fair market value of the virtual currency in $, upon receipt of the virtual currency. If an established exchange has received the virtual currency, the value can be easily determined.

However, if the taxpayer has, get the virtual currency through point-to-point transactions, or if the cryptocurrency itself has no published value, this can be considerably more complicated. The Internal Revenue Service still expects taxpayers to use a reasonable method to value the cryptocurrency and determine that this amount is correct. Several websites and software can help uncover a taxpayer's transaction history. Some will even attempt to estimate the amounts owed and will complete the form in Schedule D to report profits and losses. This software may not be perfect, and the IRS will not forgive errors. 

Investors in cryptocurrencies using cryptocurrencies may have other problems. They may find it difficult to decipher exactly when they have received mined cryptocurrencies to determine the value for reporting purposes. The IRS Guide states that taxpayers must use a reasonable method to determine the fair market value used to determine profits or losses. Taxpayers can use the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method, or another method, provided that it is applied continuously. If you do not have a detailed record in the past, you will need to use a method for past transactions. 


It can be confusing in determining what you owe and what you need to pay to the IRS when it comes to Cryptocurrencies. It is advised to talk to a tax professional so as not to get in to tax troubles with the IRS.

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