The U.S. Treasury Department has unveiled a new rule proposal that mandates cryptocurrency brokers, including exchanges and payment processors, to report details about users’ digital asset sales and exchanges to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This initiative forms part of a broader campaign by regulatory authorities and Congress to ensure that individuals involved in cryptocurrencies fulfill their tax obligations.
The central feature of the proposed rule is the introduction of a novel tax reporting form known as Form 1099-DA. The primary goal of this form is to simplify the tax computation process for cryptocurrency users. By providing clear information about transactions, Form 1099-DA aims to aid users in determining their tax liabilities accurately.
The proposed rule is designed to subject digital asset brokers to equivalent information reporting standards as those applicable to traditional financial instruments, including stocks and bonds. This encompasses both centralized and decentralized digital asset trading platforms, as well as crypto payment processors and specific online wallets used to store digital assets. The rule’s scope encompasses various cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, along with non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Under the proposed framework, brokers will be entrusted with the responsibility of furnishing Form 1099-DA to both the IRS and the respective digital asset holders. This dual submission will streamline the tax preparation process for all parties involved. The rule’s origin can be traced back to the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aimed to elevate tax reporting standards for digital asset brokers. The legislation mandated the IRS to define the classification of crypto brokers, establish reporting forms, and extend reporting obligations to substantial cash transactions involving digital assets.
It is projected that the proposed rule could generate approximately $28 billion in tax revenue over a decade. The Treasury Department has outlined a timeline for the rule’s implementation, aiming for its application to brokers by 2025, aligning with the 2026 tax filing season. The fundamental objective behind this rule, as stated by the Treasury Department, is to bridge the tax gap, mitigate potential tax evasion risks associated with cryptocurrencies, and ensure a fair regulatory environment for all taxpayers.
Presently, the IRS mandates cryptocurrency users to report a range of digital asset activities on their tax returns, irrespective of whether these transactions yielded profits. However, users are entrusted with the responsibility of calculating these gains independently, as trading platforms do not directly furnish this information to the IRS.
In response to the proposed rule, several Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren, have advocated for the swift implementation of these regulations. They posit that without timely action, individuals evading taxes and cryptocurrency intermediaries might exploit the prevailing system. Feedback on the proposed rule is being actively sought by the Treasury Department and the IRS, with a deadline for input set for October 30. Furthermore, public hearings are scheduled for November 7-8 to facilitate further discussions on the matter.