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What Is the Significance of Virtual Currency Not Being Taxed as Currency?

Virtual currencies are not currently accepted as the legal tender or “fiat” currency of any country. In the United States, the IRS has stated its view that convertible virtual currency is property, subject to the general tax rules that apply to property, and is not foreign currency. As such, virtual currency does not qualify for the special tax rules available to foreign currency transactions. This article explores the major consequences of this rule on taxpayers. Access the full article here.

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Can a Virtual Currency Position Be Treated as a Security for Tax Purposes?

Some virtual currency units and positions are treated as securities by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and US courts. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, has told taxpayers that it views convertible virtual currency as property, not foreign currency, for federal tax purposes. Lacking clear guidance from the IRS or the Department of the Treasury, this article addresses issues that may help determine whether Internal Revenue Code provisions that apply to securities might also apply to transactions involving virtual currencies and positions. Access the full article here.

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Can a Virtual Currency Position Be Treated as a Commodity for Tax Purposes?

Some virtual currency units and positions are treated as commodities by Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and US courts. The IRS has told taxpayers that it views convertible virtual currency as property, not foreign currency, for federal tax purposes. Lacking clear guidance from either the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Department of the Treasury, this article addresses issues that may help determine whether Internal Revenue Code provisions that apply to commodities might also apply to transactions involving virtual currencies and positions. Access the full article here.

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Virtual Currency Losses Disallowed on Infrequent Activities

If a taxpayer’s virtual currency activities are too infrequent to rise to the level of investment activities or do not qualify as trader or dealer activities, losses associated with virtual currency transactions are not deductible. This article explores tax-law issues that arise in the context of "personal use virtual currency" and reminds taxpayers to be aware of both their intent when acquiring or holding virtual currency and the potential tax implications arising from such activities. Access the full article here.

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Specific Identification of Virtual Currency Positions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) views convertible virtual currency as property, not foreign currency. As such, taxpayers must record and track the tax basis of each unit of virtual currency held in order to properly report taxable gain or loss when disposing of a unit or units of virtual currency. This article reviews the IRS’s position with respect to the identification and tax basis of such units. Access the full article here.

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The Legal Effect of IRS Pronouncements on Virtual Currency

Given limited guidance by US tax authorities regarding taxation of virtual currency activities, taxpayers with such holdings may find themselves in uncharted territory as to whether to take positions that are contrary to IRS pronouncements. This article explores relevant notices, rulings and FAQs, and reviews the types of deference that courts tend to put on different types of IRS interpretations and guidance. Access the full article here.

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Weekly IRS Roundup October 7 – October 11, 2019

Presented below is our summary of significant Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance and relevant tax matters for the week of October 7 – October 11, 2019. October 7, 2019: The IRS announced that taxpayers who requested the six-month filing extension should complete their tax returns and file on or before the October 15 deadline. October 8, 2019: The Treasury and the IRS released the 2019–2020 Priority Guidance Plan that sets forth guidance priorities. This plan prioritizes implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Pub. L. 115-97, 131 Stat. 2054 and of the Taxpayer First Act, Pub. L. 116-25, 133 Stat. 981, enacted on July 1, 2019. In addition, the 2019–2020 Priority Guidance Plan reflects the deregulatory policies and reforms described in Section 1 of Executive Order 13789 (April 21, 2017; 82 FR 19317) and Executive Order 13777 (February 24, 2017; 82 FR 12285). October 9, 2019: The Treasury and the IRS published a correction to a notice of proposed...

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Finally the IRS Clarifies Its Position on Cryptocurrency

It took five years, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally released some guidance on the taxation of cryptocurrencies! On October 9, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 2019-24 and several “frequently asked questions” (and answers) which deal with some (but not all) of the federal income tax issues involved with cryptocurrencies. Over the years, we have reported on the issues involved with cryptocurrencies, including the potential controversies that have ensued because of a lack of guidance. Call for Compliance: Cryptocurrency May Be Subject to US Tax Cryptocurrencies & State Tax: Transactions with Virtual Currency Digital Token Offerings and Sales under Regulation S Watch Your Mailbox: IRS Letters Warning of Cryptocurrency Non-Compliance on Their Way Governments Are Pulling Back the Crypto-Currency Curtain The IRS May Be Coming for Your Bitcoins IRS Criminal Investigation Division Expects Official “Stand up” of National Coordinated...

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Watch Your Mailbox: IRS Letters Warning of Cryptocurrency Non-Compliance on Their Way

On July 26, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a press release informing the public that it is sending more than 10,000 letters to taxpayers with potentially unreported (or misreported) virtual currency transactions. The letters will inform them of the possible reporting requirements that may apply to these transactions and advise them of the need to correct past errors. As IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig notes in the release, “Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously by reviewing their tax filings and when appropriate, amend past returns and pay back taxes, interest and penalties. . . .The IRS is expanding our efforts involving virtual currency, including increased use of data analytics. We are focused on enforcing the law and helping taxpayers fully understand and meet their obligations.” As we have previously reported, the IRS has stepped up its enforcement efforts regarding the reporting of cryptocurrency holdings and transactions in...

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LB&I Announces Five New Campaigns

On July 2, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large Business and International (LB&I) Division announced the identification and selection of five new campaigns. These new campaigns follow the initial 13 campaigns announced on January 31, 2017, followed by 11 campaigns announced on November 3, 2017, 5 campaigns announced on March 13, 2018, and six campaigns announced on May 21, 2018. The following are the five new LB&I campaigns by title and description: Restoration of Sequestered AMT Credit Carryforward LB&I is initiating a campaign for taxpayers improperly restoring the sequestered Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) credit to the subsequent tax year. Refunds issued or applied to a subsequent year’s tax, pursuant to IRC Section 168(k)(4), are subject to sequestration and are a permanent loss of refundable credits. Taxpayers may not restore the sequestered amounts to their AMT credit carryforward. Soft letters will be mailed to taxpayers who are...

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