The Rise of Crypto Tax Evasion: A Global Issue

The Rise of Crypto Tax Evasion: A Global Issue

The issue of crypto tax evasion is becoming increasingly prevalent around the world, with the US being a hotspot for such cases. Estimates suggest that 40 percent of adults in the US currently hold crypto assets, and this has led to a rise in tax evasion instances. The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is gearing up to tackle these cases, as highlighted by Guy Ficco, the chief investigating officer of the IRS.

Ficco revealed that the IRS has been observing a surge in ‘pure crypto tax crimes’, which are distinct from other financial crimes such as fraud and money laundering. The US levies taxes ranging from zero percent to 20 percent on long-term capital gains, with individuals making up to $44,626 in profits from crypto activities in 2023 exempt from long-term Capital Gains Tax. However, short-term capital gains are taxed up to 37 percent based on the profits earned.

To address the rising crypto tax evasion cases, the IRS is actively identifying and prosecuting individuals who knowingly misreport their crypto profits while filing taxes. Ficco mentioned that the IRS is anticipating more cases of Title 26 crypto violations in the near future. The agency is forging partnerships with law enforcement divisions and working closely with Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis firm, to understand the loopholes in Web3 protocols that could be exploited by cybercriminals.

While the US is grappling with crypto tax evasion, international reports have shed light on the global scenario. In 2023, Divly, a tech research firm based in Sweden, revealed that only 0.53 percent of global crypto holders paid taxes on their crypto incomes in 2022. Countries like the Philippines and India had shockingly low percentages of crypto taxpayers. In India, where all crypto profits are taxed at 30 percent, efforts are being made to integrate taxation services into crypto platforms to facilitate compliance with government regulations.

The rise of crypto tax evasion not only poses legal risks for individuals but also impacts the reputation of the entire crypto community. By failing to pay taxes on crypto profits, individuals risk facing penalties under the tax code, leading to potential legal consequences. However, by demonstrating discipline and consistency in adhering to tax laws, the crypto community can gain the support of authorities and foster the growth of the sector.

The issue of crypto tax evasion is a pressing concern that requires proactive measures from governments and regulatory bodies. By collaborating with law enforcement agencies and leveraging blockchain analysis tools, countries can effectively combat tax evasion in the crypto space. It is essential for individuals in the crypto community to abide by tax regulations and contribute to the transparency and legitimacy of the industry.


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