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IRS Crypto Tax Guidance Is Coming Soon: Official News

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The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is in the latest cryptocurrency news for a new document which shows that it is working on its first tax guidance for cryptocurrency since 2014. The IRS crypto tax guidance came from an agency’s commissioner who told a lawmaker about the news on Monday.

In a reply to Representative Tom Emmer’s request for further guidance on reporting cryptocurrencies, the IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig outlined a plan for an in-depth IRS crypto tax guidance which will come in the near future.

“I share your belief that taxpayers deserve clarity on basic issues related to the taxation of virtual currency transactions and have made it a priority of the IRS to issue guidance,” Rettig wrote in a statement which went viral in the altcoin news.

According to his statement, the organization is working on the concept of IRS crypto tax guidance for “acceptable methods for calculating cost basis, acceptable methods of cost basis assignment, and the tax treatment of forks” according to the letter.

The guidance and other issues will be published “soon” as Rettig wrote – a statement which was shared on many best cryptocurrency news sites.

“I am glad to hear of the IRS’ plans to issue guidance on this important issue,” the Representative Emmer said in a statement after receiving Rettig’s reply on the IRS crypto tax guidance plans. “Taxpayers deserve clarity on several basic questions regarding federal taxation of these emerging exchanges of value. I look forward to seeing their forthcoming proposal, and working together to serve the American taxpayers.”

His original request and letter-written statement, however, called for the IRS to “issue more robust guidance clarifying taxpayers’ obligations when using virtual currencies” with a deadline of May 15, 2019.

He also emphasised that the IRS crypto tax guidance needs to see virtual currency and “treat it as property so that existing tax principles are applied to it just like they are applicable to property transactions.” He accented digital currencies as a medium of exchange and a subject to which investments increase and “continue to develop.”

In the end, Rep. Emmer said that he hopes the information is helpful, inviting the readers to contact him if they have any additional questions or requests.

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Hawaii State Senate Authorizes Banks To Offer Crypto Custody

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The Hawaii State Senate is in the latest cryptocurrencies news now for passing the first reading of a bill that authorizes banks to hold digital assets in their custody. This bill was introduced on January 17 and was designed five state senators, including the Republican member of the Senate, Kurt Fevella. The bill passed the first reading on January 21 and was then referred to the committees of the Judiciary and Commerce, as well as Consumer Protection and Health on January 23.Basically, the bill specifies the set of provisions which a bank must adhere to and provide custodial services for digital assets. As you may not know, the custodial services cover “the safekeeping and management of customer currency and digital assets through the exercise of fiduciary and trust powers under this section as a custodian and includes fund administration and the execution of customer instructions.”Now, in order from a bank from Hawaii to qualify as a crypto custodian, it must adhere to certain standards in regards to accounting and internal controls. It also needs to maintain IT best practices and comply with the federal Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.Aside from opening up bank regulations to include cryptocurrencies, this proposed law would also classify cryptocurrencies under the Uniform Commercial Code - which is a set of federal laws in the US that wants to provide uniformity in legislation surrounding sales and commercial transactions in the country.The bill also specifies the manner of perfecting a security interest in digital assets. It discusses various methods such as smart contracts and multi-signature arrangements. The proposed legislation also authorizes the courts to hear claims which are related to digital assets.Previously in our altcoin news section, we reported about Hawaii imposing strict requirements on firms dealing with cryptocurrency. This caused the Coinbase exchange to cease its operations in the state almost three years ago.If passed in law, the latest bill by the Hawaii State Senate would not only give clarity to classification of cryptocurrencies - it will also bring them in line with several other states and set out a framework by which any compliant bank can act as a crypto custodian.
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CEO Of Telegram Thinks Apple’s iCloud Is Now “A Surveillance Tool”

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The major tech company Apple has been under a lot of scrutiny over the past few months. While some people are bashing the company because of its new smartphone models (which do not show much of a difference compared to the last ones), others think that its apps are hiding a lot of things. One of them is Pavel Durov, the CEO of Telegram who thinks that Apple's iCloud feature is "now officially a surveillance tool."Citing a report from Reuters on January 21, Durov claimed that apps like WhatsApp relying on iCloud to store messages are "part of the problem." He delivered his speech in a post on his official Telegram channel in which he said:
“iCloud is now officially a surveillance tool. Apps that are relying on it to store your private messages (such as WhatsApp) are part of the problem.”
Durov's post refers to a report which claims that Apple dropped its long-running plans to allow iPhone users to encrypt backups of their devices in the iCloud. As Reuters also reported, the tech giant has given up its end-to-end encryption plans following the FBI's report on it in which they said that such a feature would harm investigators.The report is viral in the crypto news now and cites even six anonymous sources, noting that Apple had to drop its plans two years ago but the issue has not been reported previously. Even though Apple shifted its focus to protecting some of the "most sensitive user information" such as saved passwords, backed-up texts from apps like WhatsApp or iMessage remain available to many employees and authorities in the tech firm, Reuters wrote.All of this comes after the US President, Donald Trump, bashed Apple in a tweet in which he argued that the company “refuses to unlock phones used by killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements."https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1217228960964038658?s=20The CEO of Telegram Durov wants all of this to be understood by the public. As we already saw, the company wants to position itself as a global fighter for privacy and directly oppose tech giants such as Facebook and Google. Durov's claims reinforce the company's focus on ensuring "real privacy."Launched in 2013, Telegram is a cloud-based messaging app which strives to provide secure encryption and protect more users from third parties like marketers, advertisers and officials.
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US SEC Charges Blockchain Marketplace Opporty With Fraud

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The US SEC charges a blockchain marketplace Opporty International with fraud according to the litigation release that we have in our latest blockchain news today.During 2017 and 2018, Opporty and its founder Sergii Grybniak raised more than $600,000 in the unregistered token sale or ICOs. According to the litigation release, the US SEC charges the platform alleging that the company falsely claimed to have registered with the SEC and that it falsely claims to fulfill the regulatory requirements and laws. Opporty actually never registered with the SEC according to the agency itself. The platform also reportedly deceived investors by exaggerating its progress since it made ‘’ materially false and misleading impressions about the legitimacy, use, growth, and success of its platform’’ according to the text of the SEC’s complaint.Opporty was designed to act as a B2B marketplace that will leverage the development of blockchain solutions which means that it should offer a platform that allows businesses to offer services to one another. During the sale, the platform claimed to have 6,000 verified providers who wanted to do business on and contributing content to the platform. However, the SEC claims that these providers have expressed no willingness to participate and Opporty claimed to have a catalog of more than 17 million smaller businesses that were eligible to operate on the platform.According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company only purchased a database of contacts from a third party as the SEC attests:
 “The catalog included government officials and agencies that were not and could not possibly be users eligible to conduct business.’’
The platform in question is accused of misappropriating reviews and representing a partnership that was fake thus casting further doubt on the legitimacy. The lawsuit is one of the few recent actions that the SEC has taken against blockchain startups and companies that carry out token sales. The SEC charged BTC on January 17 with fraud as well. The operator used a fake identity just to hide the connection to the past fraud by raising $30,000. The SEC demanded a full judgment against the ICOBoc which a new development in the non-fraudulent securities registration case that started in September 2019.Though these measures were meant to protect investors from fraud, the SEC’s policies that were deemed restrictive have also made it much more difficult for the legitimate sales to actually perform. The SEC shows no signs of taking a lighter touch and it has even issued its examination priorities for 2020 by publishing a new warning on IEOs, claiming that it is the primary authority for blockchain startups that operate in the US.
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Six Major Central Banks To Start Cryptocurrency Research

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The central bank of Canada is in the crypto news today along with the banks of the United Kingdom, Japan, European Union, Sweden and Switzerland. These are the six major central banks which created a group with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) which will jointly research the central bank digital currencies (CBDC).As a press release published by the Bank of England confirmed on January 21, the aforementioned institutions will share their combined experience along with other group members as they study the potential use cases for CBDCs in their respective jurisdictions.
“The group will assess CBDC use cases; economic, functional and technical design choices, including cross-border interoperability; and the sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies. It will closely coordinate with the relevant institutions and forums – in particular, the Financial Stability Board and the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI),” the announcement reads.
The six major central banks will lead the research group which will be co-chaired by the head of BIS Innovation Hub Benoit Coeure and Jon Cunfliffe, a Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and the chair of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure. This group will also include senior representatives from the participating central banks and the BIS.Additionally, we can see that the six major central banks started researching, piloting and actively pursuing various forms of digital currencies including CBDCs. As the altcoin news outlets also reported, the president of the European Central Bank Christina Lagarde supports the institution's efforts in developing a CBDC. Lagarde recently noted that there is an urgent demand for fast as well as low-cost payments and that the ECB should take a leading position along with the six major central banks instead of remaining the observers of a changing world.Even though most of the other central banks are now discussing whether the implementation of a CBDC is a good idea, the People's Bank of China recently announced that it completed the top-layer design and joint testing of the digital yuan project.Meanwhile, the market has stabilized and is finally above the $240 billion mark as Bitcoin (BTC) reaches $8,670 and ETH is stable at $168.
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