Top Exchanges Ask the IRS To Provide Clarity In Tax Regulation For Crypto At Summit


Crypto exchanges led by Kraken and Coinbase have aired their views to the U.S Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in an ongoing tax summit. The representatives called for more clarity within the crypto environment to enable innovations in this industry to thrive.

According to the panel discussions on March 3rd, crypto exchanges are pushing for a tax defined regime as opposed to ‘suspicious’ hunts by the IRS. The Washington D.C held summit was graced by crypto stakeholders; some notable mentions include Sulolit Mukherjee and Lisa Askenazy Felix who are the global tax heads of Coinbase and Kraken exchange respectively.

This event’s chief agenda is to address the ambiguity around virtual currency operations. Sulolit noted that it is a positive sign for the crypto community given previous hurdles with the IRS;

“I think the willingness of the IRS to engage us in conversations like this is a very healthy sign.”

Crypto Exchanges’ View on Taxation

The crypto stakeholders attending this summit spoke in one voice in regards to IRS clarifying their tax obligations. According to them, the industry has faced more scrutiny than it should have; Kraken’s, Askenazy, echoed that this is unnecessary as the industry is still small;

“Even the biggest companies within our space are really not the huge, publicly reported companies right now.”

In addition, crypto exchanges argued that they are still trying to adopt to the business style and legalities in new jurisdictions. Therefore, the tax man ought to take a more communicative approach for crypto businesses to thrive as opposed to an unfriendly strategy. Sulolit further highlighted there would be no need for a serious crypto project like Ripple or Coinbase to be non-compliant if there was more clarity from the IRS.

Suggested Solutions and their Practicality

Given the underlying challenges, the crypto exchange reps were floated the idea of a central data depository platform that law enforcement can access. This was however quickly shut down by both Askenazy and Sulolit;

“We would not be in favor of wholesale providing our information, all of our client information, to any centralized database,”

Citing security and privacy issues in the event of a hack.

Another proposition was for crypto exchanges to provide tax reporting services as they are best suited for this industry. Askenazy said that Kraken is planning to scale in this direction but is yet to kick off any developments.

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