December 11, 2020
Mecklenburg County Bar
General, Tax Law
The reporting, taxation, and accounting of virtual currency transactions and assets is not always clear, but the government expects full compliance and is ramping up its civil and criminal enforcement of virtual-currency tax reporting. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) required a third-party virtual currency platform to identify over 14,000 accounts and subsequently required production of records for account activity exceeding $20,000.
As a practitioner, it is important to recognize the ramifications of the client’s use of virtual currency. The regulation and even definition of virtual currency can be a trap for the unwary. As was nearly the case for a U.S technology company fined for violating several Bank Secrecy Act regulations, the creativity of forward-thinking entrepreneurs can be stifled by lack of proper direction. Not understanding the complexities can cost the client (and the attorney).
While virtual currency’s anonymity and lack of transparency raises concerns, they are as complex as they are unique. Dealing with virtual currencies and the blockchain technology requires experience and sophistication. The consequences of the misuse of virtual currencies could result in fines, penalties, increased scrutiny, and potential criminal prosecution.
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