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Sovos’ Walker Says Tax Havens Won’t be Around for Too Long



Only last year, the IRS disclosed they had a meeting with four other states in an effort to partner to fight cross-border tax evasion stemming from digital currency users. Last week in the U.S., the IRS released the draft 2020 tax form, with a crypto tax question smack in the middle of the front page.

With COVID-19 stretching budgets thin and witnessing cryptocurrency rising in popularity and valuations, tax agencies around the world are starting to put a significant amount of resources into fighting tax evasion or simple negligence and confusion that stems from cryptocurrency use. Al thismay have a very serious impact on the so-called tax havens (yes, these tax havens can just disappear).

The proof? Only last year, the IRS disclosed they had a meeting with four other nation-states in an effort to partner to fight cross-border tax evasion stemming from digital currency users. The five-country group (Australia, Canada, Netherlands, UK and the U.S.) is called the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement or J5. Also, last week in the U.S., the IRS released the draft 2020 tax form, with a crypto tax question smack in the middle of the front page.

The agency included the question last year but placed it on the draft Schedule 1 of the Form 1040, which is where individuals can report other income they wouldn’t put on the main form. And this week, some crypto investors received warning letters from the IRS (dated August 14, 2020) stating they improperly or failed to file their crypto income in their 2019 tax returns. The IRS first started sending out similar warning letters in July 2019 to 10,000 US crypto users.

Tax Havens May Not Last Long

We asked Sovos Solutions principal Wendy Walker to elaborate a bit about these issues.

As we know some countries do not consider cryptocurrencies “a money”, therefore, they don’t tax it. There comes a natural question why would someone stay under the legal binds of the countries that tax cryptocurrencies and not just trade in the countries that don’t?

Walker says that citizens of any given country must abide by the tax laws of their said country. For example, crypto investors trading on Gemini residing in the U.S. are liable to pay taxes and must submit to and calculate their gains using the appropriate 1099 form. If they do not do so, they are subject to audit from the IRS and potential criminal penalties.

However, she notes that we’ve seen ample evidence that tax agencies around the world are cracking down on crypto investors who attempt to avoid paying taxes or, because of murky guidance, fail to appropriately calculate their gains and losses.

This month, Walker mentions, some U.S. crypto investors received warning letters from the IRS (dated August 14, 2020) stating that they may have improperly filed or failed to file their crypto income in their 2019 tax returns. The IRS first started sending out similar warning letters in July 2019 to over 10,000 US crypto investors. Throughout late 2019 and into this year, the IRS has continued to issue legal summons to some U.S. exchanges (e.g., Bitstamp) looking to identify additional taxpayers who have not reported that income.

Speaking about tax havens and other ways to escape from paying taxes that exist now, she said:

“Of course, anyone is free to move assets to a country that does not tax cryptocurrencies. But I expect that those ‘tax havens’ won’t be around for long – the G20 countries are currently developing global tax reporting requirements for crypto businesses which means that crypto investors will not be able to hide assets from their home country of taxation for too much longer.”

G20 to Boost Their Tracking of Crypto Users

Asked about proper taxation of cryptocurrencies, Walker says she is still not sure crypto will be treated differently for tax purposes – “but I think we can expect the G20 countries to bolster their tracking of cryptocurrency users to better capture individuals who attempt to escape paying taxes.”

The Office of Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) has been researching blockchain technology and cryptocurrency issues specifically for some time now and, this year began developing a global framework for tax reporting amongst member countries. This framework will likely be released later this year and within 2-5 years we can expect that about 200 countries will require exchanges and other businesses to report crypto-related transactions via the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The CRS is an existing tax reporting regime that Financial Institutions and Insurers are already subject to related to financial services payments.

Form 1099-B for Crypto Transactions

Walker stresses that similarly, in the U.S., the IRS is drafting regulations under IRC 6045 which is generally where the Form 1099-B reporting requirements originate from for financial institutions to report securities and commodities related transactions.

“So bottom line – within the next couple of years exchanges will be required to report Form 1099-B for crypto transactions.”

Walker states that the best thing the IRS and other tax agencies can do is to more clearly explain to crypto investors and exchanges how to report gains and losses.

She says:

“Crypto is a complicated economy – it’s not just gaining $100 by buying and selling Bitcoin. As a virtual currency becomes more mainstream, more goods and services are becoming available for sale via crypto, which constitutes a taxable event under IRS regulations. Other assets, like staking rewards, wallet-to-wallet transfers and hard forks and airdrops are all under the spotlight right now by the IRS.”

Walker also thinks that the biggest changes we can expect are the forms in which investors report their gains and losses to the IRS.

“I believe providing a 1099-K (as some crypto exchanges do) is not an accurate way to report taxable income because it only represents part of the picture for the crypto taxpayer. Rather, crypto businesses need to report that data via a 1099-B so that the cost basis is reflected properly (i.e. If I purchase 0.1 Bitcoin for $500 on Gemini and then send it over to Kraken, Kraken has no way of knowing that the 0.1 Bitcoin that appeared in my Kraken wallet cost me $500 to obtain. Kraken does not know my cost basis.).

This detail allows the crypto investor to correctly calculate gains and losses via Form 8949 and it gives the IRS line of sight into all of the details to substantiate the income and deductions on that taxpayers’ return. This is the transparency that the IRS and the taxpayer need in order to minimize auditing and fines.”

It’s Undue Burden on Investors to Manually Calculate Their Assets

Walker also adds that there are many nuances to the taxation of crypto – and it’s really an undue burden on investors to be expected to manually calculate all of their assets from the year prior. In the traditional financial markets, investors are accustomed to receiving Forms 1099-B and detailed transaction information so that they can properly prepare their income taxes and avoid the hassle of receiving letters, like the ones so many crypto investors received again this month from the IRS.

“While crypto is still the preferred avenue for those looking for alternative investments, it’s popularity has put it under the spotlight of tax agencies around the world. But with that oversight, it’s also the responsibility of these agencies to provide clear-cut guidance on how hodlers report their gains and losses so that governments can begin to accurately capture the much-needed revenue,” concluded she.

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Biden Eyes Taxing Crypto, Thailand Clamps Down




The first half of this year saw massive rallies in crypto, and big regulatory moves in response. 

Key Points:

  • Biden Administration to require banks/exchanges/blockchain/crypto/defi companies to report Crypto transactions over $10,000 to the IRS.
  • Thailand SEC Cracks Down: Effective June 11, 2021, Meme Tokens (Such as Doge), Fan Tokens, NFTs and Exchange Tokens cannot be traded in Thailand.
  • Regulation fears one reason for the recent crypto dip. Some worry more regulation will cause further declines for all cryptocurrencies.

Crypto Regulation in the US Rears its Ugly Head

In May, we saw the blue sky potential that crypto has proven tarnished by clouds. The storm of regulation is a-brewing! The world of crypto saw its first hint of regulation as the Biden Administration unveiled its desire to tax crypto transactions in May. In the administration’s tax enforcement proposal, cryptocurrency transfers over $10,000 must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The treasury believes this move may double the IRS workforce over the next decade. 

Thailand’s SEC regulates and bans crypto

In a parallel move, the Thai SEC announced their decision: A near-full shutdown of many digital assets. The Thai SEC has on Friday June 11 2021 effectively shut down crypto trading in their country, citing a myriad of regulatory concerns.

The Thai SEC has prohibited the following:

  • Meme tokens: According to the Thai SEC, they have no ‘clear objective or underlying substance’. Hence, they clamped down on coins like DOGE. 
  • Fan Tokens: Tokens built on the fame of influencers
  • NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens): Digital creations that derive ownership of an object or specific right. NFTs are non-interchangeable, unique and cannot be exchanged with digital tokens of the same category. 
  • Any digital tokens utilized on blockchain transactions and issued by digital asset exchanges or ‘related persons’. 

International law firm based in Thailand, Pugnatorius Ltd., pointed out that many crypto investors in Thailand do see the crypto world as sort of a tax haven, describing it as a ‘self-delusion’ :

“Coinowner’s self-delusion: Even in these days, it is a standard tax planning strategy for crypto owners to base unclarified tax obligations on the hope that this will not be taken up by Thailand’s tax authorities. Or that it is an easy game to shift the sale to offshore in a tax-free area. Basing the strategy on hope and errors works only for a certain period of time.”-Pugnatorius Research, Seven Statements on Bitcoin Taxation in Thailand (Jan 22, 2021)

Regulators Are Scared of Crypto for Good Reason

The fears of regulation over crypto are not surprising. Especially considering stories like the time a man was arrested in Thailand with more than $800 million in BTC. Bitcoin has gained insane ground since its inception, going from around 1000 transactions per month when it was released to having a global trading value that eclipses the GDP of many countries Now BTC has over 10 million transactions happening every month. 

Thailand SEC is doing the right thing for their nation, as the cost of CV19 for a nation relying on tourism has been staggering. Now, a nation that attracts many foreigners to work and live is going to need all the help it can get. It’s clear the Thai government has seen a way to help get the country back on its feet.

Wikipedia – Ladislav Mecir

The Bottom Line:

How does this matter to you as a crypto investor? It’s pretty obvious: If you’re into blockchain, watch your lawmakers very closely! Investors should keep up to date with their country’s latest respective SEC filings, board meetings, and news releases. Ultimately, investors can practice two things to keep them safe in times of extreme volatility: 

What can you do? Be patient and follow the rules. 

Featured Image: © Palinchak Megapixl

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Crypto Gambling Market Continues to Grow in 2021




With your wallets funded, you need to choose the right games which are typically the same as traditional casino games.

Blockchain technology and digital currencies have come to stay and of the many use cases of crypto, its integration in the gambling market has continued to see impressive growths in 2021. Cryptocurrencies rank as one of the major tools that have helped the world maintain financial equality amidst the growing economic uncertainties fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is a steady integration of crypto in key industries, the online Casino world and other gambling sites have particularly designed a means to harness the full capabilities of these growing asset classes.

Per the ratings on Kriptopolis, crypto gambling sites are proliferating at a fast pace, as many seek to leverage the benefits for their platform users. Some of the inherent features of cryptocurrencies that make them ideal for gambling include privacy, low fees, fast speed of transaction, and lack of censorship amongst others. Users who embrace crypto gambling via dedicated sites can get to enjoy these benefits and more.

Choosing the Right Crypto Gambling Sites

Those familiar with online Casinos and gambling sites may have their reservations due to one or more limitations. Attempting to switch to crypto-backed gambling sites may not particularly be the recipe to attain maximum satisfaction as the market is still developing. However, the crypto gambling market has a lot to offer, and users who are explorative must have a set of features to watch out for while attempting to pitch their tents with an online crypto gambling market.

In choosing the right gambling platform, you have to look out for Casinos or other such markets that accept the digital currencies that you have. Some Casinos accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), FunFair, and others. With crypto exchanges or marketplaces around today, you can easily purchase the right cryptocurrencies a particular platform offers, and move the assets to use in playing your games.

When you have discovered the platform that offers casino games with the assets you hold, you will then need to ascertain how secure and reliable these platforms are. At the rate of growth of online Casinos today, it is not uncommon to find outfits which are prone to attack, have a series of bad practices capable of limiting user experience. To get a reliable outfit, reviews on platforms like Kriptopolis for the best crypto gambling sites may become a very great resource.

Once these aforementioned factors are in place, you may need to check out the gambling site that offers a form of reward for new customers. These rewards may come as free spins or other generous bonuses. Bonuses are a way to get more value from gambling sites and those who offer enough are often advised for starters.

The issue of regulations must also be considered. Local laws may prohibit some crypto casinos from carrying out their business in your locality. Users must do their due diligence to ensure the site of their choice have the permit to operate and provide their services in your country or region.

Examples of common Casinos that supports crypto for payment and payouts according to Kriptopolis include but not limited to:

  • BitStarz
  • Fortune Jack
  • BetChain
  • Betcasino, and;
  • 7Bit Casino

These Bitcoin-centric casinos are unique in their own way and their offerings may differ from one another. However, the advancing economy and competition in the online gaming and betting world has fueled each of these platforms to boost their offerings to gain a reasonable market share.

Getting Started with Crypto Gambling and Choosing the Right Games

The earlier section is one of the core ways to really get started on your journey into the crypto gambling world. Once you have picked the right platforms for you based on the factors highlighted earlier, the question to now answer is, where is the cryptocurrency to get started with?

Some online crypto casinos offer an avenue to buy the digital currencies they support, however, this method is not recommended. Instead, users can open an exchange account ranging from Binance, Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ: COIN), Kraken, Huobi Global, and others as supported in their areas. When the accounts are created, users can set up their wallet accounts and purchase their desired cryptos using credit cards or via P2P payments. These exchanges typically have guides to aid new users. Once purchased, this coin can then be transferred to the gambling site through the dedicated wallets on the platform.

With your wallets funded, you need to choose the right games which are typically the same as traditional casino games. However, some are built on the blockchain. Examples of the games on offer by the popular crypto casinos include but not limited to:

  • Slots
  • Video Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Keno, and;
  • Bingo

There are provisions to bet with huge sums of money, for example, one Bitcoin, however, in order to manage risks effectively, a fractionalized units of your assets can be used to start out.

Pros and Cons of Crypto Gambling Market

As an emerging market, crypto gambling engagement comes with its benefits and woes. For the former, users get to enjoy anonymity, the safety of funds, transparency, and the potential for winnings to grow over time as Bitcoin and altcoins are bound to future growths in price.

The cons involve the risks associated with the volatility of assets, lack of diverse alternatives in choosing platforms to patronize, and the knowledge crypto is required to avoid hiccups. By and large, the pros outweigh the cons and as such, the industry is blossoming and has a positive outlook for the future.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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Elon to Put Dogecoin on the Moon by 2022




By 2022, Tony Sta… I mean Elon Musk says he will be putting a real physical Dogecoin on the moon. 

No one ever said the man wasn’t brilliant, if not a little eccentric. His backing of the cryptocurrency that was once just a joke is not just for fun.

Dogecoin holders earned 12,000% returns since January 1st of 2021.

Courtesy of Coindesk

It’s incredible how an “investment” that generated 12,000% over less than 5 months was started as a joke. Imagine how many Sheba Inu dogs can be adopted for such returns, especially after they put Dogecoin on the moon!

After all, that’s what Dogecoin’s parents, Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer did.

They created a payment system that makes fun of the crazy speculation of cryptocurrencies. Just like so many things we have seen in recent years, Dogecoin took on a life of its own! Now it’s circulating with a supply of 129.5-billion coins as of May 9, 2021. 

It’s not just a meme: Dogecoin is changing the world

On Jan 9, 2014, the Dogecoin Foundation created a community fundraising effort with the goal of raising US$50,000 for the Jamaican Bobsled Team. The team qualified but could not afford to attend the Sochi Winter Olympics. By day 2 of the fundraising, US$36,000 worth of Dogecoin. This made the BTC-Dogecoin exchange rate go up by 50%! 

On top of that, just a month ago in May, Dogecoin jumped more than 50 cents!

The motivation to get behind Dogecoin is the same as almost any crypto: Taking power away from the third parties who charge fees for people to use their own money on their platform. They’re called banks, and you may have heard of them.

The real reason for putting Dogecoin on the moon for Elon Musk is not to stick it to traditional finance. (Although that’s a great side-benefit!) I believe the real reason behind putting Dogecoin on the moon lies in the fact that Elon Musk owns SpaceX, the world’s leader in private sector space flight. In the Q1 of 2022, Canadian firm Geometric Energy Corporation will put a physical Dogecoin on the moon in a 40-kilogram CubeSat on one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets. It would be interesting to watch what happens, and if only we could invest in SpaceX! Too bad it’s not public! (Yet…)

Dogecoin’s 2% increase last week is one indication that moves like this are the right thing to ensure a bright future for not just Dogecoin, its holders, and Mr. Musk, but the entire world and anyone who will use crypto. 

Featured image: DepositPhotos

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