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How digital assets will be affected following IRS’ new rules

How digital assets will be affected following IRS' new rules

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States has introduced a draft of proposed regulations concerning the reporting rules for digital asset brokers, aiming to enhance tax compliance within the digital asset ecosystem.

The regulations require brokers to utilize a newly designed reporting form, with the goal of simplifying tax filing processes and curbing instances of tax evasion. The move is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to strengthen tax enforcement within the digital asset sector.

The proposed rules pertain to the sale and exchange of digital assets by brokers. These regulations would oblige brokers to adopt the newly introduced Form 1099-DA for reporting.

The purpose behind this measure is to facilitate easier tax calculations for taxpayers and minimize the need for intricate computations or the use of expensive digital asset tax preparation services when filing tax returns.

According to the Treasury Department, this proposed form would aid taxpayers in determining their tax obligations related to gains and potential deductions from the sale of digital assets.

The complexities of calculating gains from digital assets have often proven challenging and costly for many taxpayers.

The Treasury Department further explained that these regulations aim to align the practices for digital assets to other assets. By doing so, the IRS seeks to establish consistent and comprehensive reporting standards across various asset categories.

Regulations will simplify the digital asset ecosystem

The draft proposal encompasses a comprehensive 282 pages. It is scheduled to be available from the Federal Register for public review and feedback starting on 29 August. This initiative is a part of the Biden administration’s wider implementation of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

This legislation’s provisions are projected to generate approximately $28 billion in new tax revenue over a decade, reflecting the government’s commitment to fortifying tax compliance in an evolving economic landscape.

The proposed rules will take effect in 2026. They will be covering sales and exchanges conducted during the preceding year, 2025. The proposal will accept written commentary until 30 October. Additionally, a public hearing is set to occur after this period to gather more input and insights.

Initial reactions to the proposed regulations indicate that the IRS may encounter substantial feedback. Industry stakeholders have expressed the necessity for nuanced regulations that acknowledge the unique characteristics of the digital asset ecosystem.

What the regulations aim to achieve

The Blockchain Association’s CEO, Kristin Smith, emphasized the distinct nature of the crypto industry. He also advocated for tailored rules that encompass all participants, avoiding undue burdens on those striving to comply.

Notably, there have been criticisms regarding the perceived mismatch between the proposed frameworks and the decentralized nature of crypto. DeFi Education Fund CEO Miller Whitehouse-Levine commented that the IRS proposal applies regulatory structures rooted in intermediary-based systems.

He added that the crypto ecosystem functions differently than traditional financial services.

In response, Patrick McHenry, Chair of the House Financial Service Committee, criticized the proposal as part of the Biden administration’s continued assault on the digital asset ecosystem. McHenry emphasized the importance of narrow, clear, and appropriately tailored rules for digital assets.

The proposal also drew attention to the ongoing discourse surrounding digital asset taxation. Advocacy group Coin Center presented tailored suggestions to Senators Ron Wyden and Mike Crapo, addressing concerns.

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