They see the new reporting requirements as potentially damaging the economic viability of cryptocurrency markets, which have seen a rapid expansion in new users during the pandemic.
Given how much new tax revenue could be at stake and the amount of progress that has been made on the bill, many doubt the language will be eliminated, so they are focused on efforts to make what they see as improvements.
Industry groups including the Blockchain Association, Coin Center and the Association for Digital Asset Markets outlined their opposition to the requirements in statements on Thursday, taking particular note of provisions in the draft version that could lead to targeting of individual users.
Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said in an interview on Friday that her group proposed amending the bill language to “tighten the definition” of what constitutes brokering activity to exclude artificial intelligence platforms or business transmitters.
“The idea of shoving this into a congressional mandate or as a as a revenue-generator for something completely unrelated, is not the preferred way or the right way to get the best policy,” Boring said, noting that ADAM and others have repeatedly asked for more guidance from the IRS on how to enforce existing laws.
ADAM’s CEO, Michelle Bond, said “it is critically important for the industry to be at the table to provide technical assistance for proposals of this magnitude.”
Tax compliance is considered a major problem with cryptocurrencies, and lawmakers are hungry for the $28 billion their proposals are said to raise to help finance their big-ticket spending plans.
The issue is complicated, potentially affecting banking and securities law. It also crosses jurisdictions in Congress, from the tax committees to banking panels.
The move to boost cryptocurrency reporting requirements comes after Republicans killed a plan to boost IRS enforcement by greatly expanding the agency’s budget — something Democrats are expected to tackle in a separate tax-reconciliation package.
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig has repeatedly asked lawmakers for more power to improve tax compliance in the cryptocurrency industry, where many market participants are unaware of their obligations or are outright cheating.
Though industry officials vow to fight the proposals, they’ll likely face an uphill battle.
The plan is headed for a quick vote in the Senate, and lawmakers will be loath to blow a hole in the infrastructure proposal after struggling for weeks over how to defray its cost of the plan.
The fact that few lawmakers understand cryptocurrencies and their relationship to taxes means that any lobbying effort will require a major educational campaign. Congress’s most expert member on the issue, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), happens to be one of the main authors of the broader infrastructure package.
Much of the proposal is designed to replicate the reporting regime imposed…