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Every US taxpayer in Crypto should be aware of what’s unfolding

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US taxpayer in Crypto

IRS said it will issue guidance for crypto taxation this year.  “IRS knows what’s going on” said one of the popular IRS’s agents recently. Binance is restricting US residents from trading on its platform starting this September. Only last year, IRS was successful in issuing summons to Coinbase.  

A recently leaked IRS Cyber Crimes training document outlined how far IRS is ready to go to tackle the problem of ‘virtual currency trading’ and ‘transfer of wealth from fiat to bitcoin’.  

It doesn’t take a genius to sense that something is brewing on the tax and FinCEN front, at least in the US.

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Einstein is quoted to have talked about two certainties in life: death and taxes.   Not everyone believes that Governments have the right to tax.  

The percentage of these anarchists is higher in the crypto space. Some may have even gotten into crypto space to amass wealth without declaring anything.

We at CryptoTapas have been calling people to action to never hide anything.  If you don’t like to pay taxes, move to a country where there are no taxes and see how you like it there. 

Ominous signs of impending action are already in the air

US taxpayer in Crypto

IRS is now getting ready to send out 10,000 letters to individuals with virtual currency transactions.  

“Taxpayers should take these letters very seriously by reviewing their tax filings and when appropriate, amend past returns and pay back taxes, interest and penalties,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

Gary Alford, the guy who helped solve Silk Road case said in a recent interview with Forbes that IRS was well aware of what was going on.  In his own words, “We’re usually behind the curve — history is made and then we react to it. But in this case, we are ahead of the curve. We were there on ground zero, and we were waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to what we already knew… We already are aware that there were cases to be made, we just didn’t know if we were at the point where we can bring it for criminal prosecution. We believe we are at that point now. If we had 12 jurors and told them someone made all their money in bitcoin, we believe that they would understand.”

Binance announced that it will stop serving US residents starting September of 2019. This may be a move to avoid US’s legal reach on the basis of Americans trading on its platform. We are not sure if this strategy will shield Binance from the US probes.

Disclosure, whether conservative or aggressive, is the way to go

US Taxpayer in Crypto

Before Trump’s Jobs Act made it clear that like-kind exchange treatment only applies to Real Estate properties and not others, some individuals have used like-kind exchange treatment with bitcoin and crypto transactions.  

Even then, the fact that these folks have gone to the lengths of enduring complexities of disclosing crypto under like-kind exchanges is a far better position than those who refused to disclose anything entirely.

While IRS is due to provide a detailed guidance in 2019, existing guidance from 2014 or even the aggressive like-kind exchange position before 2018 tax year were still grounds for good faith disclosure.

Affirmative guidance creates grounds for IRS to pursue tax evaders

IRS understands that without affirmative guidance they may face an uphill battle in tax courts to prove that not reporting or even reporting inadequately is a crime.

Once the guidance is in place, then the IRS will have all the ammunition it needs to go after those who are deluded to think they can outsmart the agency that brought down Capone.

However, IRS is not waiting until after the guidance is made available, they are already taking action (most probably based on the information they gathered from Coinbase subpoena).  

IRS has won in the court before, it will in future

As we reported earlier, IRS issued a summons to Coinbase to release its customers information.  This was when there was no concrete guidance on what defines evasion as it relates to crypto taxation.  

Now that they are gearing to issue that long eluded guidance, US residents better pay attention.

In some cases, US taxpayers who have not reported transactions that are otherwise reportable may have to go back to amend the tax returns.  You must consult a tax professional who specialises in the digital assets area.

Income tax is the least of your worries

US Taxpayer in Crypto

We issued a detailed guidance on FinCEN Form 114 disclosure last year.  We will update this guidance for 2019 toward the end of the year (another reason to subscribe) because it is, in our view, equally critical to disclose your foreign crypto exchange balances to the United States Treasury.  This requirement is in addition to your tax form disclosures, and continues year over year as long as you hold the crypto or any financial account in a non-US crypto institution or exchange.

 

Your digital wallets are exempt from the FinCEN Form 114 disclosures since you own the private keys and are not considered to be held in a foreign account.

Formation of special Task Force is likely

We speculate that the IRS will form a special task force comprising of law veterans, tax nerds and tech geeks to excavate crypto wealth no matter how deeply it is buried.  

In its training deck, IRS Cyber Crimes has alluded to how they will use the tools that could help them track the owners from back-tracking the wallet addresses to their IPs to the owners.  This will obviously need a concerted effort from the IRS, Blockchain and Crypto community and Cyber Crimes divisions.

Virtual Currency Task Force is not a bad name, but Digital Assets Task Force, or DAT Force, now that’s vogue

Blockchain’s open architecture may actually make this excavating easy for IRS, with the right resources in place.  

In the training deck, IRS Cyber Crimes laid out plans to use ‘Chainalysis’ to backtrack the ownership of bitcoin and other digital currency wallets.    

Again, these developments should only worry those who chose to bypass the law not those who have been diligent in their tax and legal affairs.

Script tightens, rattling will ensue

First the infamous IRS agent, Gary, comments on how IRS knows everything.  Then IRS goes out and gets the subpoena against US’s most popular crypto exchange, then the Cyber Crimes training deck talks about going to lengths to fish out the evaders, Trump joins in on the party calling out bitcoin while the Senate continues its grilling of Facebook Libra.  

The script of ‘anti-nation’ and ‘national security’ are slowly getting tagged to the bitcoin and crypto community.  This is not a good direction but one that we hope will take ‘measured’ turn to protect the citizens who are working with the law while unearthing those who are not.  

This balance is very hard to achieve and we have some of the most uninformed politicians in power who are calling bitcoin a ‘bigger threat to nation’.  

This is an unfortunate rhetoric that we hope the Government will quickly clarify and ensure the progress of this amazing technology with workable legal framework.  If US fails to achieve this harmony – other nations will take over the US’s position in the technology front.

Conclusion

Something is brewing around the world.  Governments are more aware of how blockchain wallets work, what DEx’s are and how the world of crypto trading works.  

Our recommendation continues to be that you stay compliant with country’s laws, not just tax but also financial account disclosure requirements, and stay clear of any nefarious ideas to evade taxes or to break the law.

Thank you for reading the article.

You may be interested:
IRS Cyber Crimes leaked training document

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Read more about the author here.

 

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6 Massive Benefits of Cryptocurrency

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Benefits of Cryptocurrency

It is normal to be hesitant about using cryptocurrency as the medium of financial transactions. 

There is a school of thought which believes, it is a domain suitable for criminals, fraudsters, and terrorists. Cryptocurrencies allow them to maintain anonymity for discreet transactions and ransomware scams.

However, the increasing acceptance of Bitcoin as a digital currency has initiated a positive perspective around this mode. It brings a distinct set of pros for the users, making them overlook the risks tag along.

According to the Finder, a post on social media surfaces about Bitcoin every three seconds. If we do the math, it means 1203 posts pop up per hour, making it to 20 posts per minute.

A more general view on the crypto landscape speaks of its overall growth, too. Block Social tells us how cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe have exceeded 300 during 2020.

In fact, the success of crypto shows us the loopholes of the traditional banking system. If you, too, want to leap on this bandwagon and aren’t sure about your next move, this is the right place. Our blog sheds light on the positive aspects of cryptocurrency that make it a more established form of financial trade. 

Healthereum

1. Easy transactions

When dealing with brokers or legal representatives, you have to pay the transaction fee from time to time. This comes along with immense paperwork, commission, brokerage charges, and so much more. Using cryptocurrency eliminates the need for a middle man. The transaction changes into a one-to-one affair taking place on a secure network.

No wonder Forbes stated that adopting blockchain technology can save financial organizations around $12 billion yearly. A deduction of extra charges from third parties and reduced operations cost is saving millions for huge organizations.

Moreover, the transactions are transparent, making it easier for you to establish audit trials. There is no more confusion over who pays whom. All parties involved in the transaction know each other quite well. Accountability on each party grows.

2. Asset transfers

A financial analyst rightfully describes cryptocurrency blockchain to be a “large property rights database.” On the one hand, it helps execute and enforce two-party contracts on commodities such as real estate and automobiles. At the same time, it also facilitates special modes of transfer. 

As per Born2Invest, Bitcoin alone is responsible for an average of 350 000 daily transactions on the Blockchain. Meanwhile, Coinbase has 30 million cryptocurrency users (Block Social). The increasing figures of each crypto speak of its acceptance worldwide.

The parties involved in asset transfer can design contracts and add third-party approvals at a later date. It also helps to reference the external facts and gives the parties exclusive governance of their account. It reduces the time and money involved in asset transfers. Perhaps this is why US federal government spending on Blockchain shall reach $123.5 million by 2022.

3. Confidential transactions

Cryptocurrency purchases remain discreet. Unless a user voluntarily publishes his transactions, the purchase is never associated with their identity. In official scenarios, such as when you put your cars for sale, the parties must reveal an association with their cryptocurrencies. It helps to establish trust and relevance.

Within the cash/credit system, your entire transaction history turns into a reference document for the banks/credit agencies involved. On the contrary, cryptocurrency is a transaction that is a unique exchange between two parties. They can negotiate and agree on preferable terms. The information exchange takes place on the “push” basis. This means you transmit only that which you wish to send to the recipient and nothing else.

It keeps your financial history secure and guards you against identity theft. Chances of which are quite high under the traditional transaction system. 

On top of this, the combination of Blockchain with IoT is considered revolutionary by the experts. This has accelerated data exchange, lowering the operation costs, and improved the security of files. Your Tech Diet predicted that 75% of the IoT industry would adopt Blockchain technology by the end of 2020. Lack of exposure is, thus, something the entire industry is looking for.

4. Transaction Fee

You have probably faced hefty monthly account statements from your bank/credit companies. The transaction fee charged at every transaction you have made might leave you shocked. The whopping fee of multiple transactions can take you by surprise at the end of each month.

In the case of cryptocurrency exchange, the data miners receive their share from the cryptocurrency network involved. Transaction fee does not apply as the remote and separate computer systems that do the number-crunching get a pretty fair share. 

According to Investopedia, the Bitcoin reward for miners halves for every 210 000 blocks added to the chain. Nonetheless, this system has freed the transaction parties to pay the fee, making it the most feasible. 

However, there might be some external fee involved if you engage a third-party management service to maintain the crypto wallet. These charges are likely to be quite less than the transaction charges levied by the traditional banking system. 

5. Hold Ownership

The traditional banking system works in a manner where the amount goes to the nominee if a person passes away. The chances of the account closing are quite high when you infringe the terms of their services. Unlike this framework, digital currencies give you the sole ownership of private and public encryption keys. This makes it easier for you to identify the encryption network.

6. High security

Once a party authorizes the cryptocurrency transfer, they cannot reverse it. This is not the case in “charge-back” transactions allowed by the credit companies. Cryptocurrency gives you reliable encryption throughout the transaction process to keep it protected from bugs and malicious entities.

Systems like Binance Smart Chain are enabling people to do more with BTC.

Final Thoughts 

Cryptocurrency is taking the financial world by storm, and we know the reasons why. It is about time you kickstart your digital finances journey and make the most out of it. Who knows what surprises are about to come later in this landscape!

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Cardano or PolkaDot? Which One to Invest In?

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Cardano vs Polkadot

There is a new battle in the crypto space.  Cardano (ADA) and PolkaDot (DOT) maximalists are headbutting as to which project is better and why.

The conversations are intense to say the least and we will try to provide our view on which one we are leaning toward and the reasons why, in this rather short article.

Just to be clear, we are invested in both ADA and DOT so we have a vested interest in both projects, however, we are now asked to pick one over the other and that brings us to this article.

Decentralization

The whole spirit of cryptocurrencies is the concept of decentralization, however, some of the more popular projects don’t seem to have a grasp of what that means.

Diem (previously Libra) or XRP etc., are controlled by a group for validators who could, in theory, easily collude, in our view.

With DOT, things are not as centralized as some other projects with about 1000 validators securing the platform.

However, ADA has the most number of nodes and has most of its circulating supply staked on its wallet. The community behind ADA has biggest proponents of decentralized frameworks.

ADA: 8 (top 10 is reserved for BTC)

DOT: 6

Team

Cardano boasts the maximum number of Ph.Ds on its team and has a more decentralized team structure.  You have teams that are working exclusively on wallet and staking while you have other teams focusing on interoperability. Yet, another team is focused on bridging projects from Ethereum to Cardano.

DOT has the ammunition of Gavin behind it. He is undoubtedly one of the brilliant minds in the space. 

However, as we learned in basic math, sum total is always greater than an individual unit.  This applies more aptly with these projects. In our opinion, Cardano has a greater edge when it comes to collective human capital.

Having Charles Hoskinson helps ADAs impression.

ADA: 8

DOT: 6

Social presence

There is no competition when it comes to social presence and engaging the community when it comes to the leaders of these two projects.

While DOT’s founder Gavin might come out as eccentric and polished in the social media, Charles takes the cake in engaging with his audience and making things sensible for the community.

ADA: 9 

DOT: 7

On a mission

Whenever you hear Charles speak about ADA you will immediately understand that he is on a mission to bring the marvels of blockchain enabled financial services to all corners of the world.

Cardano’s team is now focused on the South Africa continent to bring the under-previleged onto the world commerce through their platform. They are even close to signing a contract with Ethiopia government in 2021.

While DOT is catapulting the entire space forward it just lacks the same charm that comes with a project on a grandiose mission.

ADA: 8

DOT: 6 

Miscellaneous considerations 

Market cap: ADA has $20 Billion market cap while DOT has $19 Billion, as such they are on par with each other when it comes to valuation. The large cap is a stamp of approval from the crypto community.

Price: ADA is at around 60 cents while DOT has been stabilising at $20 at the time of this writing. When the newbies come to the market and they see they cannot afford Bitcoin or Ethereum, they will most likely go after the projects that are under $1. This does not mean DOT is inferior, it is just an edge that low priced tokens have over higher priced projects. It’s just a newbie mindset that drives higher demand during bull runs to lower priced projects.

Inflationary supply

DOT has an inflationary supply model while ADAs supply is capped.

Yes, DOTs supply is far larger than DOT, however, there is no new minting on ADA when compared to DOT.

Mainnet

DOTs technology is operational and is onboarding projects already.  ADA is scheduled to launch its mainnet this month (Feb 2021). ADA has been in works for many years now and if their product matches the hype and the wait – then it may not matter as much that they are late to the party. However, if there are issues with their mainnet – it may not bode well for ADA.

Conclusion: Total score

ADA: 33

DOT: 25

If you are a DOT fan you might think this score is skewed.   If you are an ADA fan you might think it should score perfect points in all fronts.

In fact, there are some areas where DOT is a clear winner like having a functioning platform. ADA, in our opinion, takes the prize with clear fandom, gigantic mission and a total brainiac project. 

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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Best of the Best YouTube Channels to Follow for your Crypto Fix

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Best Crypto Youtubers

There are literally 100s of crypto-experts on YouTube who claim to have cracked the secret code that can make you millions in crypto riches. 

Who should you follow?  

We have followed many YouTubers, subscribing and unsubscribing to avoid the noise and after having been in this space for over 4 years, we have narrowed our favorite crypto YouTube channels to just a few.

In this article, we will show you our favorite YouTubers and what we like about each one of them. 

Overall number 1: Coin Bureau

coin bureau When it comes to deep analysis, composed demeanor and outright professional crypto channel in the entire space, we have not come across anyone better than Guy.  

Not only is he great at the reviews and in depth analysis, if you have followed the channel long enough you will realize that he reviews the gems long before others pick on the momentum.  

He picks solid projects, never shills a shitty project to his followers and is upfront about his views which he backs up with solid research.

This is the best no-shill and no bull crypto channel on YouTube in our view.

Best original content: Chico Crypto

chico crypto review

If you love a bit of quirky, goofy and somewhat out there viewpoints on the crypto space then there is no one better than Tyler at Chico Crypto. 

His investigation stretches the boundaries of research (and sometimes common sense) but he does do a bang up job on every video.  

I am yet to come across a boring video on this channel.  I will admit that his live streams can be a drag sometimes but his followers seem to relish his presence.

You may not like or agree with what Tyler presents on this channel but you will absolutely be floored by the originality.   

Best TA: TIED: Crypto Capital Venture & Tyler S

                         Crypto Capital Venture Tyler S crypto

With under 90K subscribers at the time of this writing, Dan may not be the most popular of the Crypto channels [yet] but his TA analysis is just so easy to follow.

Dan makes it easy for non-technical folks to understand what’s going on in the market in the language of TA.

There are other folks on YouTube who are good at TA but their videos are so obnoxious that they leave you with a massive headache.  

Not Dan’s Crypto Capital Venture channel.   Dan walks you through the markets in such a calm, composed and professional manner that you might start caring about those candles.

We are forced to share the Best Title for crypto TA on YouTube with Tyler S. 

Tyler’s expertise on TAs is quite awesome and he has a funny way of delivering it too.  

Best expertise on the markets: Alessio Rastani

Allesio RastaniIt doesn’t matter if you are just lurking around the crypto markets or if you trade in the traditional markets…Alessio is one of the best guys on YouTube for great insights into the broad market and its impact on Crypto.

While everyone on YouTube (not the people on this list, of course) is either quick to FOMO or FUD, Alessio is just grounded in fundamentals and technicals.

When you are high on FOMO, he can bring you to the ground.

When you are getting buried in FUD, he can lift you up with facts, not false hopium.

Alessio is personable, professional and an honest guy to follow to understand the markets ahead of others.

Best round up of the market: AltCoin Daily

Altcoin DailyWant to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the crypto space but don’t have time to keep up?  

Fear not. AltCoin Daily got you covered.

This channel is just a gem among the channels that bring crypto market updates in a concise and palatable format.

You can sense the dedication in the way Austin brings the updates and his opinions in front of his audience. No wonder the channel has recently hit over 420K subscribers.

Best humble and honest take: Crazy 4 Cryptos

Crazy 4 crypto

What does Crypto mean to you?

Most people will say ‘Freedom’, yet, most of the YouTubers we see on the Tube will be broadcasting from their bedrooms or backyards (nothing wrong with that) but not Dave.

He has been in Thailand and streams his videos directly from the beach.

You will immediately connect with his simpleton style and honest reviews.  

He has been touting about Theta when it was trading in cents and now those who followed him are very happy.

Besides Theta, Dave talks about a lot of topics in terms of storing your coins, being careful with people and how to have a long-term plan in space.

Honorable mentions

Team Underground (TA)

We had too many channels to weed out for the TA category and that is why we had to pick two winners, however, Team Underground is a channel we cannot skip.

This underdog channel has been more right about the calls than any other mainstream channel. If you like your TAs and technical side of crypto – be sure to check this channel out.

BitBoy

People either love him or hate him.  There is no middle ground when it comes to BitBoy.  

Personally, we have to weed out a lot of noise while browsing through his channel since he picks a new project every few days (or weeks) and can become overwhelming. 

However, the fresh content is worth the watch.

EllioTraders

The guy behind this channel is truly vested in the space. So much so that he recently launched his own crypto project.

It’s definitely refreshing to see the YouTuber taking his expertise into a live project.  

The reason we did not list this channel on the BEST list is because of the constant feed of projects he pitches that is a bit overbearing for our taste.  

Nevertheless, a great channel and great recommendations.

Conclusion

There are 100s of YouTube channels out there but not everyone is worth your attention. We hope you found some channels of interest through this article.

Note: if we missed any gem of a channel, please let us know and we will be more than happy to add it after review.

Thank you for reading and sharing this article. We appreciate you.

Stay safe and healthy!

Top 5 Cryptocurrencies 2020

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

Everything in this article is an opinion, not an advice of any kind. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only and it is not intended to be relied upon as accounting, tax, investment, legal or other professional advice. Please consult with a professional for specific advice.

We do not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information and claims made.

All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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