IRS Wants to Probe Bitcoin Database to Find Tax Evasion

Tax EvasionThe Internal Revenue Service is interested in your coins. Not the loose change you keep in a jar, but the digital bitcoins you might own. The IRS is trying to get information from the popular bitcoin exchange known as Coinbase. The agency hopes the information will help it uncover tax evasion.

The IRS issued a John Doe summons; the summons is a request for information about all of the service's users.

The use of the court-approved summons follows a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report urging the tax agency to spend more resources in search of cases of tax evasion involving digital currencies such as bitcoin.

An ordinary summons is used to pursue information about a particular taxpayer; a John Doe summons is used to find information about taxpayers whose identities are unknown to the IRS.

Coinbase says it will challenge the summons. "In its current form, we will oppose the government’s petition in court," the company said in a statement, promising to keep customers informed about any future developments.

Anyone who believes they might one day face allegations that they evaded taxes, failed to pay taxes or engaged in tax fraud can contact Chicago and Cleveland tax law attorneys to discuss their circumstances and available legal options. The attorneys at Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C. represent clients across the nation who face these accusations and other serious charges.

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