The Latest Congressional Call for Crypto Regulation Mainly Focuses on Taxation

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In a significant move towards addressing the opaque tax compliance practices in the cryptocurrency realm, two esteemed members of the U.S. Congress have penned a crucial missive to leading financial decision-makers. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel were the recipients of a letter penned by U.S. Representatives Brad Sherman and Stephen Lynch, expressing concern over the crypto industry’s current state of tax adherence.

The Crypto Conundrum: A Major Tax Evasion Tool

The representatives highlighted that the blossoming digital currency sector has, for a considerable time, been a primary facilitator of tax evasion. This evasion has significantly contributed to the nation’s tax gap, marking a gray area in the United States’ financial landscape. The letter was an urgent plea, emphasizing the need for clear-cut regulations for this rapidly growing industry.

Sherman and Lynch’s correspondence points to a pivotal audit report from September 2020. This report, produced by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), underscored the IRS’s shortcomings in identifying taxpayers involved in crypto transactions, largely due to a lack of comprehensive reporting.

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Despite the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act being signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021, the proposed crypto regulations seem stuck in legislative limbo. The Act mandated that taxpayers report cryptocurrency transactions from 2023 onwards. Yet, according to Sherman and Lynch, these long-awaited regulations are still pending.

Urgent Call for Crypto Tax Compliance

The urgency for actionable regulations resonates strongly in the congressional appeal. The representatives emphasized the need to “close the tax gap and bring the cryptocurrency industry into full tax compliance.” However, this cannot be achieved without swiftly unveiling the proposed regulations.

In the spring of 2023, the Biden administration sparked significant controversy by proposing a 30% Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) tax on cryptocurrency miners. This proposal was part of Biden’s FY2024 budget announced in March 2023. However, amidst the legislative storm, this tax proposal was omitted from the May legislation addressing the U.S. debt ceiling issue.

Crypto Mining Tax: A Looming Threat or Temporary Reprieve?

While the suggested tax on crypto mining seemed to deflate, many industry enthusiasts view this as a temporary relief. The proposed tax’s specter continues to linger in the crypto space, fostering uncertainty amongst stakeholders.

The crypto industry stands at a crossroads, awaiting decisive action from regulators to bring much-needed clarity and fairness. As tax-related conversations intensify, the cryptocurrency realm braces itself for potential regulatory shifts that could redefine its trajectory. 

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