Treasury Department, IRS propose digital asset regulations

The Treasury Department and IRS today released proposed regulations on the sale and exchange of digital assets by brokers as part of an effort to crack down on alleged tax cheats. The proposed rules would require brokers—including digital asset trading platforms, digital asset payment processors and certain digital asset-hosted wallets—to file information returns and furnish payee statements on dispositions of digital assets effected for customers in certain sale or exchange transactions. Additionally, they would require real estate reporting persons to report the fair market value of digital asset consideration received by real estate sellers in reportable transactions. Those same persons also would be required to file information returns and furnish payee statements for real estate purchasers who use digital assets.

“Under current law, taxpayers owe tax on gains and may be entitled to deduct losses on digital assets when sold, but for many taxpayers it is difficult and costly to calculate their gains,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “These proposed rules require brokers to provide a new Form 1099-DA to help taxpayers determine if they owe taxes, and would help taxpayers avoid having to make complicated calculations or pay digital asset tax preparation services in order to file their tax returns. These regulations align tax reporting on digital assets with tax reporting on other assets, and, as a result, avoid preferential treatment between different types of assets.”

Written comments will be accepted until Oct. 30, the Treasury Department said. A public hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 7, with a second public hearing on Nov. 8 if the number of requests to speak at the first hearing exceeds the number that can be accommodated in one day.