Cryptocurrencies are exploding—and so is the Internal Revenue Service’s pursuit of Americans who aren’t paying taxes on them. With Tax Day approaching, it’s a good time to clean up your act if you’ve been lax about taxes on crypto. Not doing so could compound future tax problems, especially if you have traded a lot or have more than a small stake.
Two new IRS efforts to find crypto tax cheats stand out: In April, a federal judge in Boston approved an IRS summons to the payments company known as Circle and its affiliates, including Poloniex, to turn over customer records to the agency. And in early May, a federal judge in San Francisco approved another IRS summons for records to the crypto exchange known as Kraken. In both cases, the turnover applies to customers who had more than $20,000 in transactions in any year from 2016 through 2020.
“With these summonses and other actions, the IRS is mounting a full-court press to show taxpayers how seriously it takes cryptocurrency compliance,” says Don Fort, a former chief of IRS criminal investigation now with Kostelanetz & Fink. “Taxpayers should take it seriously too.”
The Kraken and Circle summonses are the IRS’s way of getting at information it can’t get otherwise. While brokerage firms have to report many stock sales and other information to the IRS