Even the IRS Admits Some Crypto Tax Regulations Are 'Not Ideal'

Published on by Coindesk | Published on

I've been covering taxes around the crypto space for most of the past year and have talked to more than half a dozen certified public accountants, tax lawyers and other professionals about what the Internal Revenue Service's issued crypto tax guidances are actually telling us.

Even the IRS admits the guidance leaves questions unanswered.

Using weighted averages, for example, might be impermissible under existing guidance and the FAQs.The IRS official agreed, telling CoinDesk this is the next issue on its list around crypto.

"The IRS is working on guidance about how to get proper information reporting and what is the proper form of information reporting, and the IRS has recognized that that guidance is lacking as far as what the exchanges should report on," the official said.

Another unanswered question around crypto taxes revolves around staking, said Shehan Chandrasekara of CoinTracker, a crypto tax service.

What the IRS has made clear is taxpayers need to file if they made any money as a result of exchanging their crypto for fiat or another cryptocurrency; if they gained any crypto as a result of airdrops or hard forks; or if they gained funds as a result of staking or mining.

The IRS added a mandatory question to the U.S. tax return last year, asking if the individual held or transacted with crypto during the year.

The IRS is cracking down on crypto taxes this year in a way the agency hasn't in past years, said Chandan Lodha of CoinTracker.

The IRS takes enforcement more seriously than comparable agencies in most other countries, Woodward said, similar to the Australian Tax Office.

There's "Significant evidence" the IRS cares, including through its recent postings seeking expertise around crypto transactions, Lodha said.