IRS Chief Asks Congress for Authority to Get Cryptocurrency Data

The Internal Revenue Service needs more authority from Congress to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and require more reporting on its users, Commissioner Charles Rettig said Tuesday.

“We get challenged frequently, and to have a clear dictate from Congress on the authority of us to collect that information is critical,” Rettig said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing.

The Biden administration has proposed requiring cryptocurrency brokers, including exchanges, to report information on their customers, including on indirect foreign investors. It would also require businesses to report when they receive crypto assets valued at more than $10,000.

Rettig noted that the value of the cryptocurrency market now tops $2 trillion.

“Most crypto, virtual currencies are designed to stay off the radar screen,” Rettig said. The IRS currently issues summonses to third parties to get information on cryptocurrency users, without naming specific individuals, Rettig said. It’s also active in both civil and criminal enforcement, but the agency needs additional tools and resources from Congress, he said.

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