The Internal Revenue System (IRS), always eagerly looking for opportunities to fill the tax gap, has again put crypto. The agency obtained a court order from The United States District Court for the Northern District of California requiring Kraken to provide it with access to detailed user and transaction data.
The exchange has been legally forced to disclose sensitive information regarding users whose annual crypto transactions on the platform exceeded $20,000 from 2016 to 2020. The IRS will get hold of users' names and/or pseudonyms, birthdates, TINs (taxpayer identification numbers), email addresses, physical addresses, phone numbers, blockchain addresses, transaction hashes, and other relevant documents.
Kraken called the IRS's summons an "unjustified treasure hunt." According to the agency, the order results from the platform's non-compliance with the summons the IRS issued in 2021. The agency also made an attempt to obtain information on employment and source of wealth from Kraken, but the court dismissed this and several other related requests. The judge stressed that the agency's demands should be satisfied only insomuch as they serve to establish users' identities with regard to their potential tax obligations.
Overall, the ruling is favorable to the IRS and comes amid the government crackdown on crypto, adding to the industry's anxieties. The reporting threshold for third-party settlement organizations (TPSOs) has long been set at $20,000 in payments from over 200 transactions. The American Rescue Plan of 2021 lowered it to… $600 in aggregate payments, regardless of the number of transactions, valid from 2023. TPSOs report these transactions by providing individual payees an IRS Form 1099-K.