The Chamber of Digital Commerce and international law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP today announced the formation of the Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition, a Washington, DC-based coalition created to help develop effective and efficient tax policies for the growing virtual currency markets. The move comes in response to a lack of recent guidance from the Internal Revenue Service, which since 2014 has considered digital currencies to be property, not currency, for tax purposes.
The Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition intends to help develop policies that work for both the industry and government. Developing these policies will allow the IRS to implement the recent recommendations by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) that the IRS develop a strategic plan for its virtual currency program and create third-party tools to allow for greater compliance while minimizing the need for aggressive and burdensome enforcement actions.
Led by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, industry participants include some of the leading exchanges, wallet providers, and transaction processing companies in the digital asset sector. Steptoe will serve as counsel to the coalition.
Perianne Boring, president and founder of the Chamber of Digital Commerce said:
“Clear tax treatment for digital assets is essential to ensure robust growth of this important sector.”
The Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition is another step in the industry’s efforts to proactively engage with government officials on issues of mutual concern.
Last year, the Chamber of Digital Commerce co-founded the Blockchain Alliance to serve as a resource for law enforcement and a forum for open dialogue between the private and public sectors about digital assets and blockchain technology.
Steptoe leads and serves as counsel to the alliance. The Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition seeks to follow the same approach of open and cooperative engagement with policymakers on issues of mutual concern.
Jason Weinstein, Steptoe partner and co-chair of the firm’s Blockchain and Digital Currency practice commented:
“We are proud to be working with the industry’s leading companies to engage with policymakers on an issue of vital importance to the sector. Tax solutions that allow the IRS to do its job without resorting to actions such as a John Doe summons will be of benefit to all.”
Cameron Arterton, of counsel at Steptoe, stated:
“Blockchain and digital asset technologies pose unique challenges to tax administration. We look forward to working with the coalition to develop policies that minimize compliance burdens for the industry while also providing the IRS the tools it needs to administer the tax code effectively and efficiently.”