News broke early in the week that The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may take into account summoning foremost tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft in the quest to find taxpayers’ unreported cryptocurrency assets. This was after a certified public accountant (CPA) named Laura Walter did a twitter thread, affixing photo evidence.

Virtual Currency and Cryptocurrency 

In his slide presentation, James Daniels, the program manager for cyber-crimes at the IRS’ criminal investigation unit opined that Issuance of a Grand Jury Summon should be looked into for Apple, Google, and Microsoft for the Subject’s complete application download history. He added that Each application’s role should be discovered to determine whether or not it can convey, or if not, allow, transactions in bitcoin.

Daniels continued, expressing that if the applications in question can perform those tasks, it should be examined if they allow only peer-to-peer transactions, or also transactions with crypto-related businesses. What started out as a twitter rumor, has since been confirmed to be genuine by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

In an Email written by Justin Cole- director of communication and education at IRS’ criminal investigation unit-, the materials were shown to IRS officials at an event at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., on June 5-7 2019. He reported that the training documents have been used globally to convince various law enforcement partner addressees and was again given at this forum in an environment that included partners from various countries around the world as well as several members of the press.

Social Media in Addition To Tech Giants 

However, he did not reveal whether the IRS will certainly employ the suggested measures, reporting that he could not discuss precise investigative actions that the agency may or may not take in the future. According to Daniels’s presentation, it was suggested that the IRS demand information from those who have data on the financial habits of the Subject, including, but not limited to, bank tellers, family and friends of the Subject (if possible), and institutions the Subject frequents that may accept bitcoins. It was also suggested that Social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter, also should be investigated for public mentions of crypto-related information, along with vendors that accept bitcoin.

In his presentation, Daniels asserted that If it becomes apparent that the subject of an investigation owns bitcoin, all wallet addresses and balances should be known, adding that If the subject  uses crypto exchanges or online wallet services,  these firms can be summoned for the user’s balance, addresses, and any information that can help identify the subject including connected financial accounts, login times and information, correspondence, and transaction details.

However, Daniels acknowledged that the trustworthiness of this approach is yet to be extensively tested, and resulting from that, it may not be recommended to send a Summon for records if is not significantly needed. He also recommended that the taxpayers under investigation themselves shouldn’t be sent summons, as this may prove to be disadvantageous to the confiscation of any bitcoin balance. As a result, the IRS is in the process of issuing new directions on reporting cryptocurrency for tax objectives, the first of its kind following an initial notice issued in 2014.

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