US Treasury finalizes new crypto tax reporting rules

FILE PHOTO: Illustration of bitcoin and price chart

By Hannah Lang

(Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department finalized a rule on Friday requiring cryptocurrency brokers, including exchanges and payment processors, to report new information on users' sales and exchanges of digital assets to the Internal Revenue Service.

The new requirements aim to crack down on crypto users who may be failing to pay their taxes, and stem from the $1 trillion bipartisan 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. At the time the bill was passed, it was estimated that the new rules could bring in close to $28 billion over a decade.

The rule, which would be phased in starting next year for the 2026 tax filing season, align the tax requirements for cryptocurrencies with existing tax reporting requirements for brokers for other financial instruments, such as bonds and stocks, Treasury said.

The final rule was modified from Treasury's original proposal in order to limit some burdens on brokers and to phase in the new requirements in stages, Treasury officials said. It also includes a $10,000 threshold for reporting on transactions involving stablecoins, a type of crypto token typically pegged to an asset like the U.S. dollar.

The cryptocurrency industry had waged a comment letter campaign after Treasury proposed the rule last year, arguing that the scope of the proposal's definition of a broker was too broad and that the requirements violated the privacy of crypto owners.

Treasury said it reviewed more than 44,000 comments on the proposal. It also said it anticipates issuing additional rules later this year to establish tax reporting requirements for non-custodial brokers, including decentralized crypto exchanges.

In a release, Treasury emphasized that crypto owners "have always owed tax on the sale or exchange of digital assets" and that the new rule "simply created reporting requirements... to help taxpayers file accurate returns and pay taxes owed under current law."

The rule introduces a new tax reporting form called Form 1099-DA, meant to help taxpayers determine if they owe taxes, and would help crypto users avoid having to make complicated calculations to determine their gains, according to the Treasury Department.

Brokers would need to send the forms to both the IRS and digital asset holders to assist with their tax preparation.

The IRS currently requires crypto users to report many digital asset activities on their tax returns, regardless of whether the transactions resulted in a gain. Users are required to make that calculation themselves, and the platforms on which digital assets trade do not give the IRS that information.

(Reporting by Hannah Lang in New York; Editing by Andrea Ricci)