Following a court battle with the IRS, online cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will provide the records of 13,000 users to the tax collection agency, the company announced on Feb 23. The government will receive ‘certain limited categories’ such as taxpayer ID, name, birth date, address, records of account activity dating between 2013 and 2015, and all periodic statements of account of invoices, as part of a tax evasion investigation.
“The information and experience of the IRS suggests that many unknown US taxpayers engage in virtual currency transactions or structures… Because the IRS does not know the identity of the individuals within the ‘John Doe’ class, the IRS cannot yet examine the income tax returns filed by those US taxpayers to determine whether they have properly reported any income attributable to virtual currencies,” wrote David Utze, IRS senior revenue agent at the IRS.
Coinbase received the summons in December 2016 and has been fighting it ever since. Initially, the court order requested the data of 500,000 US-based customers, but it was narrowed down to customers with a high number of transactions where trading volume exceeded $20,000.
If users are worried, they are advised to “seek legal advice from an attorney promptly” because the company can’t help with legal or tax advice.
Coinbase has been active for six years, trading in 32 countries and with a cryptocurrency wallet available in 190 countries.