Developers and Miners ‘Not’ Forced to Comply, says Spokesperson of Sen. Rob Portman, Who is Behind the Legislation

Meanwhile, senators Pat Toomey and Ron Wyden are calling to “fix” crypto tax provision in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.


Senate Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) is the latest crypto supporter who announced plans to “fix” the provisions for enforcing cryptocurrency transactions into the infrastructure bipartisan bill, calling it unworkable. Toomey said in a statement,

“Congress should not rush forward with this hastily-designed tax reporting regime for cryptocurrency, especially without a full understanding of the consequences.”

He further pointed out how by including an overly broad definition of the broker, in its current form, the provision sweeps in non-financial intermediaries like miners, validators, and other service providers as well.

“These individuals never take control of a consumer’s assets and don’t even have the personal-identifying information needed to file a 1099 with the IRS.”

Toomey is also concerned that the bill would allow the Treasury Secretary to define a digital asset with broad discretion, according to an aide.

Meanwhile, late on Monday, The New York Times reported Drew Nirenberg, a spokesman for Senator Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who helped draft the legislation, pushing back against the idea that the proposed rules would hurt the crypto industry.

“This legislative language does not redefine digital assets or cryptocurrency as a ‘security’ for tax purposes, impugn on the privacy of individual crypto holders, or force nonbrokers, such as software developers and crypto miners, to comply with I.R.S. reporting obligations.”

“It simply clarifies that any person or entity acting as a broker by facilitating trades for clients and receiving cash must comply with a standard information-reporting obligation.”

Confusing Language

The government estimates that it will raise $28 billion from these crypto provisions to fund its nearly $1 trillion infrastructure plan. This will be used as a way to offset the package’s $550 billion in new spending for roads, highways, bridges, and other infrastructure projects.

The final bill would require business transactions involving over $10k in crypto to be reported to the IRS, a mandate that already exists for large cash payments, but the problem is with the definition of “brokers” who are required to report the information to the IRS.

As we reported, even the latest tweaks in the proposal were bad, and the changed language even further broadened the scope of brokers that could include miners, validators, DEX protocols, and others. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said,

“The broad, confusing language leaves open a door for almost any entity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem to be considered a “broker”—including software developers and cryptocurrency startups that aren’t custodying or controlling assets.”

Meanwhile, the Blockchain Association and Chamber of Digital Commerce have been lobbying Senate offices to change the broker reporting pieces of the legislation.

Unintended Consequences

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden is another one who wants to make changes to the provisions.

According to an aide to the Oregon Democrat, changes could come in a manager’s amendment to the bill, which senators typically agree to ahead of time, reported Politico.

Over the weekend, Wyden tweeted that this infrastructure framework is not a solution to the problem of crypto tax evaders, rather “It’s an attempt to apply brick and mortar rules to the internet and fails to understand how the technology works.”

Wyden is the one who leads the chamber’s tax-writing panel and wants to make sure that the rules do not apply to those who may face difficulty complying with them, which is the problem crypto advocates have been pointing out ever since the proposal first became public knowledge.

According to an aide, Wyden supports reporting rules for crypto exchanges which the provision aims to do, but his concern is that the language lacks clarity and could mean that the developers would have to provide information to the IRS, which could “pose technological challenges and cause unintended consequences.”

Wyden has reportedly not ruled out putting forward his own amendment as a fix either.

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