"Virtual Currency" in a Real Tax World: Tax Implications for Buying, Selling, and Using Virtual Currencies
Created on December 06, 2019
"Virtual currency" (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin) has become increasingly popular in today's economy. This development has invited increased IRS scrutiny of taxpayers that engage in various types of transactions utilizing this (relatively) new manner of exchange. Most recently in 2019, the IRS announced that it had begun to send letters to taxpayers involved in virtual currency transactions regarding the potential failure to report to such transactions properly and failure to pay the appropriate tax incurred as a result of such transactions. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated that "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." Rettig continued by saying, "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."
Given the heightened focus of the IRS on virtual currency transactions, it is extremely important that taxpayers and their tax advisors understand the tax implications associated with buying, selling, and otherwise using virtual currencies, including the IRS' position regarding the appropriate tax treatment and reporting related to such transactions. This course, presented by J. Troy Terakedis, co-chair of Dickinson Wright's Tax Practice Group, will discuss these tax implications as well as address the various guidance that has been issued by the IRS which shed some light on how the IRS will treat virtual currency from a tax perspective.
- Review IRS guidance regarding the appropriate tax treatment of virtual currency as set forth in IR Notice 2014-21
- Assess IRS treatment of the purchase and sale of virtual currency
- Analyze IRS treatment when virtual currency is used to pay for goods and services
- Comply with tax reporting requirements in light of IR-2019-132
- Discuss remedies for noncompliance
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