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IRS Confirms That It Has Trained Staff For Detecting Crypto Wallets

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IRS Confirms

The US Internal Revenue Service, known as the IRS, may now consider subpoenaing major tech companies in the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft in search of taxpayers and their unreported crypto holdings. As the latest cryptocurrency news show, IRS confirms that it has trained staff to identify crypto wallets.

According to a slide deck presentation from an IRS cyber training session, the agency’s criminal investigators are now trained to find potential crypto tax cheats. The altcoin news feature this slide deck stating:

“Issuance of a Grand Jury Subpoena should be considered for Apple, Google, and Microsoft for the Subject’s complete application download history.”

Prepared by James Daniels who is the program manager for cyber crimes at the IRS criminal investigation unit, the deck proves that IRS confirms the claims. It also reads:

“Each application’s function should be explored to determine whether or not the application can transmit, or otherwise allow, transactions in bitcoin.”

If such is the case, it should be checked whether the app allows only peer-to-peer transactions or transactions with crypto related businesses. The deck also leaked on Twitter and showed that IRS confirms its trained staff for crypto wallets.

Justin Cole, who is the director of communication and education at IRS’ criminal investigation unit, said that the materials were presented to agency staff at an event at the World Bank in Washington, DC on June 5 to June 7.

“The training material has been used around the world to various law enforcement partner audiences and was again given at this forum in a room that included partners from dozens of countries around the world as well as various press members,” Cole wrote in an email featured on many best cryptocurrency news sites.

However, Cole did not say whether the IRS will definitely implement the suggested measures.  “I can’t discuss specific investigative actions that the agency may or may not take in the future,” Cole said.

Meanwhile, the IRS is getting ready to issue new guidance on reporting crypto for tax purposes, the first coming out with an initial notice published in 2014. As it stands, IRS confirms that new developments are happening everywhere around the organization.

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Regulation

US Congress Proposes New Crypto Bill For Easier Transactions

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The US Congress has just introduced a new bill that will make it extremely easier for consumers to spend their Bitcoin. Some of the representatives proposed the bills on Thursday, January 16 and it is believed that the bill could even ease up the approach on taxes so let’s find out more in the latest cryptocurrency news below.Known as the Virtual Currency Fairness Act of 2020, the bill will eliminate all needs for consumers to calculate taxes on the crypto transactions that will result in capital gains under $200. This could even change the tax act that is more than 35 years old. This is not the first attempt to pass a law of this kind since, in 2017, the US Congress introduced an earlier version of the bill which proposed a $600 exemption limit. This bill has a lower limit which could be more appealing to legislators but there’s no real guarantee that it could be put into law.The bill tackles one very important issue: Bitcoin is continuously shifting its market price and when businesses start accepting it they will convert it to US dollars. This means that when the individuals spend their Bitcoin, they will have to calculate how much value their holdings gained once they got their hands on Bitcoin. They will also have to keep records of the gains and report on the amounts on the taxes. The crypto supporters suggested that this will not work. Despite this complex tax structure, it does not seem that the capital gains are much of an issue in practice since the payment processors such as BitPay and Coinbase Commerce have almost no trouble attracting users who want to spend their crypto.This bill could be a sign that the US government wants to ease the approach to crypto so it is clear that the capital gains are generally taxed. The IRS released new tax guidelines which only confirmed that the investors in the US will have to pay taxes on gains from the sale and conversion of virtual currency so it clarifies that gains on airdropped cryptocurrencies are also a subject to taxes. The IRS worked with Chainalysis to investigate tax evasion and they were able to identify the coinholders on the public blockchains and exchanges.
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UK Tax Regulator Offers Contract For Tech To Combat Crypto Tax Evasion

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The Britain's tax agency has recently started inviting contractors to provide a tech tool which will help the country's tax efforts towards combating cryptocurrency criminals. As we can see from the latest news, the UK tax regulator uses a technology which is worth 100,000 pounds sterling and should gather intelligence through cluster analysis.The HMRC and its Cybercrime team hope that this will help them correlate crypto-asset transactions with service providers. As opposed to the free online tools and the human analysis that exist out there, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said that they believe a commercial product would help the agency illuminate the blind spots which currently allow criminal activity to fester.As we can see from the reports in the cryptonews, HMRC wants to track and analyze the big coins and ideally the privacy tokens including Monero, Zcash and Dash. All of these have been coins that are notoriously difficult for regulators to track.The UK tax regulator (HMRC) and its Cybercrime team are now working to shield Britain's tax revenue from attempted fraud. Specifically, the repayment system that they have is vulnerable to complex and clever criminality. Hacking, malicious software (malware) and distributed denial of service are among the leading offenders, but there are phishing scams too as the most notable form. In fact, phishing has evolved from email to text form nowadays.There is even a term known as "SMiSHing" which relates to phishing in the SMS form, making criminal messages appear credible. The dedicated efforts have helped the Cybercrime team progress from the 16th "most phished brand globally" to the 146th in 2018.Still, as we can see during times when the law enforcement and regulatory efforts are evolving, the criminals are getting smarter and smarter. This is why the UK tax regulator is in the Bitcoin and altcoin news for trying to tackle them with a more robust strategy.Last week, we reported about the rise on terrorist operations which have been using crypto to fund operations. The US-based Chainalysis identified the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades (AQB) which is Hamas' military arm and the terrorist organization as the first confirmed case of terrorists using crypto to aid their activity. The company also tracked $2.8 billion in BTC coming from criminal enterprises through exchanges.
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Zipmex Crypto Exchange Gets License By Thai Regulators

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Another crypto exchange- Zimpex, was granted a trading license by the Thai regulator according to recent reports that we have in our crypto news today.The crypto situation in Thailand is still developing and the country even received another licensed crypto exchange which brings the total number of platforms to six. According to the Thai SEC announcement, the latest trading platform that gained a trading license for Bitcoin is known as Zipmex. The exchange’s arrival to the Thai crypto scene brought even more competition in the country’s developing sector. The SEC’s move comes right after the regulator recently announced its plans to update the list of platforms that were granted a license for digital asset trading.The website of the regulator shows that it had followed through with the latest announcement and Zipmex and is now officially on the list of licensed crypto trading services and it is now the sixth exchange to receive this license after Bitkub, Huobi, Bitherb and Satang Pro and BX got one as well. The website of the company has yet to reveal when the services will start but there is another announcement that says ‘’Get Ready to meet Zipmex soon’’ so we can assume that the exchange will launch in the near future.The company decided to focus on other business opportunities as well which is why they announced that it will not request a license to continue operating in 2020. Other exchanges announced shutdowns in the country leaving a huge hole in Thailand’s crypto market which led to a competition in the country’s crypto sector. Some of the other exchanges saw the opportunity to take the lead and they started working on changing their strategies with the goal of outperforming the competition. Zimpex is entering a hugely competitive market which could end up being rather ruthless to an emerging exchange.Cryptocurrencies already had legal status in Thailand and it even attracted a lot of attention from crypto investors and businesses from around the world. This development shows that the country is ready for a crypto revolution and is likely that a lot of new businesses will start emerging in Thailand in the close future. The SEC itself promised in 2019 more plans to amend the current royal decree on crypto-related activities and in other words the regulator wants to be more flexible and to stimulate the growth of the crypto sector by simply protecting the investors from risks.
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New Fraudulent ICO Charged For $30 Million Raise By US SEC

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The US Securities and Exchange Commission has recently charged a group of criminals raising over $30 million through a new fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO). According to a January 12 press release which is in the Bitcoin scams news now, the SEC charged and convicted Boaz Manor, his business associate and two companies including CG Blockchain Inc. and BCT Inc. SEZC with violating the antifraud and securities registration provisions of the federal laws.Meanwhile, Manor is a dual citizen of Canada and Israel. Along with his other partners, he managed to raise more than $30 million in a new fraudulent ICO, conducted with the objective to launch hedge funds testing technology to record transactions on blockchain.The full complaint by the SEC reads that between August 2017 and September 2018, the defendants promoted and sold digital asset securities in an attempt to develop technologies for hedge funds. Manor misrepresented himself as "Shaun MacDonald" and talked about himself as an employee of his New Jersey-based associate Edith Pardo, an Israeli citizen who allegedly ran the company.At the time, the defendants said that they possessed 20 hedge funds testing technology to record transactions on blockchain. However, the cryptonews show that they only sent a prototype to a number of funds which did not use it.The chief of the SEC's Market Abuse Unit commented on the new fraudulent ICO case and said:
“As alleged in our complaint, Manor’s brazen scheme to conceal his identity and criminal history deprived investors of essential information and allowed defendants to take over $30 million from investors’ pockets.”
Also, today we saw that the US Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey announced criminal charges against Manor and Pardo in a parallel action. The SEC now seeks disgorgement of illegally obtained profits plus interest, penalties and injunctive relief as well as barring Manor and Pardo from acting as officers or directors of public companies and from participating in future securities offerings.Meanwhile, history shows that Manor received a four-year prison sentence in Canada in 2012 for siphoning $106 million from a Toronto-based hedge fund that he co-founded. The Canadian fund had $800 million in assets under management at its peak from 26,000 different investors.
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