The undermanned United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is diverting an elite team of special agents to hunt down domestic tax evaders who are using cryptocurrencies to skirt their dues. And while there have been no evaders outed yet, experts fully expect the first cases to be brought forth in short order.
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IRS: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide ….
Coming off one of the agency’s biggest “victories” ever in outing American accounts in Switzerland’s notoriously private banks, the IRS shifts to a new target: cryptocurrencies.
Specifically, the IRS is now assigning a 10-member team of its most elite criminal investigators to expose and bring cases against American tax evaders who are using cryptocurrencies as de facto tax havens.
IRS Criminal Investigation Division head Don Fort will be charged with managing the team. The agency itself has experience with the cryptocurrency space going back to 2013, when agents began scrutinizing how digital assets could be used to evade tax burdens.
Now, Fort says the hunt is officially on:
“It’s possible to use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the same fashion as foreign bank accounts to facilitate tax evasion […] We know that you want to get your money out at some point.”
A Cryptocurrency Exchange Commission?
Speaking of regulatory activity, NYT writer Peter J. Henning posited that the creation of a Cryptocurrency Exchange Commission, or CEC, could be coming to the American cryptoverse soon.
That’s because Henning noted one of the dominant themes of the recent U.S. Senate hearing on cryptocurrencies was how the Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission repeatedly suggested that various aspects of the cryptoeconomy do not fall under their purview.
Accordingly, Henning suggests a CEC could do a world of good toward helping cryptocurrencies into the mainstream of America’s financial life:
“The S.E.C. was created by Congress in 1934 to implement greater federal regulation of the securities markets. The creation of, say, a Cryptocurrency Exchange Commission, or C.E.C., could address a rapidly developing product that defies easy categorization without having to deal with the demands — and foibles — of an entrenched bureaucracy.”
What’s your take? Are you paying the taxman his dues this year? What do you think about a CEC? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Startland News, CBS