Posts in Tax.
Time 4 Minute Read

A small but growing number of employees are asking for cryptocurrency as a form of compensation.  Whether a substitute for wages or as part of an incentive package, offering cryptocurrency as compensation has become a way for some companies to differentiate themselves from others.  In a competitive labor market, this desire to provide innovative forms of compensation is understandable.  But any company thinking about cryptocurrency needs to be aware of the risks involved, including regulatory uncertainties and market volatility.

Time 6 Minute Read

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the “Infrastructure Bill”), which significantly expands tax information reporting for certain cryptocurrency transactions. The Infrastructure Bill includes an information reporting requirement for cryptocurrency asset exchanges and custodians on an IRS Form 1099, and an information reporting requirement for certain persons who accept large payments in cryptocurrency in such person’s trade or business on an IRS Form 8300. The effective date of these changes will apply to any information return required to be filed after December 31, 2023.

Time 2 Minute Read

On May 28, 2021, President Biden released some of the legislative items that would be added by his American Families Plan, which includes a provision that could impact tax information reporting for cryptocurrency asset exchanges and custodians. If enacted, this proposal could require substantial effort to implement and administer.

Time 2 Minute Read

Only a few states have issued guidance on the sales tax treatment of digital currency transactions. On November 2, 2020, Kansas joined this group, with Notice 20-04, Sales Tax Requirements Concerning Digital Currency Under the Retailers’ Sales and Compensating Tax Acts (the “Notice”), issued by the Kansas Department of Revenue (the “Department”).

Time 2 Minute Read

In 2019, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s structured finance and securitization team closed a number of substantial transactions, developed novel structures for our clients and advised on important tax, regulatory and other industry developments, including emerging uses of blockchain solutions.

Time 1 Minute Read
On January 16, 2020, Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Washington) and David Schweikert (R-Arizona) introduced H.R. 5635, the Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020. Under current IRS guidance, taxpayers who sell virtual currency must recognize any capital gain or loss on the sale, subject to any limitations on the deductibility of capital losses. Taxpayers can also recognize gains due to fluctuations in exchange rates between virtual currencies and fiat currencies. H.R. 5635 would provide some relief from this tax treatment to encourage small consumer transactions in virtual ...
Time 4 Minute Read

The United Kingdom tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), has issued revised guidance regarding the tax treatment of cryptocurrency.

Separate guidance has been published for individuals on the one hand, and businesses on the other.

The revised guidance represents more of an elaboration of the basic principles set out in prior guidance than any significant change in HMRC’s approach to the taxation of the receipt and disposal of cryptoassets.

Time 2 Minute Read

On October 9, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (Service) released Revenue Ruling 2019-24. The revenue ruling considers whether taxpayers should realize gross income under two common scenarios involving cryptocurrency and includes a number of illustrative examples. The Service concluded that a so-called “hard fork” on a cryptocurrency blockchain does not create taxable income if a taxpayer does not subsequently receive new units of cryptocurrency, but taxable ordinary income is generated by “airdrops” following a hard fork that delivers new units of cryptocurrency to a taxpayer.

Time 2 Minute Read

The United Kingdom (UK) tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), has taken the first steps toward recovering tax that it believes may be outstanding from UK resident cryptocurrency investors: it has been reported that several crypto exchanges have received demands from HMRC relating to customer details and their transactional activity.

Time 1 Minute Read

As reported in the July 26, 2019 Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP client alert, first France and now the United Kingdom have joined the growing number of European countries that have, in recent months, announced they are considering a new form of tax specifically directed at “digital” businesses. The new form of digital services tax is based on the premise that traditional methods of profit allocation between different countries are no longer fit for their purpose and that, in the context of “digital businesses”, a fresh approach needs to be adopted that takes into account the value ...

Time 3 Minute Read

The year 2018 was a busy one for the SEC in the digital asset space, with the agency cementing its role as the primary de facto regulator of crypto finance in the United States.  The SEC’s enforcement division was operating at full speed, bringing a series of enforcement cases in the crypto space with an emphasis on fraud and scams involving digital assets.  Notably, the SEC brought first of its kind cases involving digital securities against an unregistered broker-dealer, an unregistered investment company and an unregistered token exchange.  The SEC also took action against an airdrop of securities, while at the same time providing general guidance on when the federal securities laws apply in the first place.

Time 4 Minute Read

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recently published a detailed primer on smart contracts. The Primer discusses their functionality, use cases, regulatory environment and potential risks. It describes a “smart contract” as a set of coded computer functions that (1) may incorporate the elements of a binding contract (e.g., offer, acceptance, and consideration), or (2) may execute certain terms of a legal contract, or (3) allows self-executing computer code to take actions at specified times or based on reference to the occurrence or non-occurrence of an action or event (e.g., delivery of an asset, weather conditions, or change in a reference rate). The Primer also observes that a smart contract may not be a legally binding contract, which is a critical distinction for developers and entrepreneurs (and their counsel) in the digital economy.

Time 3 Minute Read

Ohio is the first state in the United States to accept tax payments in cryptocurrency.  Starting today, December 3, 2018, companies operating in Ohio can elect to pay certain Ohio state taxes in Bitcoin.  Many Ohio state taxes are eligible for payment in cryptocurrency, including (among others) sales tax, withholding tax, pass-thru entity tax, and public utilities tax.  As long as an entity operates in the state of Ohio and pays Ohio state taxes, the entity is eligible to pay such taxes in Bitcoin.

Time 3 Minute Read

As reported on the Hunton Insurance Recovery Blog, in what appears to be a case of first impression, an Ohio trial court ruled in Kimmelman v. Wayne Insurance Group that the crypto-currency, Bitcoin, constitutes personal property in the context of a first-party homeowners’ insurance policy and, therefore, its theft would not be subject to the policy’s $200 sublimit for loss of “money.”

Time 3 Minute Read

Interest in the crypto economy continues to grow in Congress. On September 25, 2018, Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH) hosted a roundtable, “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies,” with more than 50 financial institutions and crypto start-ups invited to attend. Additionally, the House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing on financial innovation on September 28, 2018, entitled Examining Opportunities for Financial Markets in the Digital Era.

Time 1 Minute Read

Recently, Canadian investment firm First Block Capital Inc. reported that FBC Bitcoin Trust, which the firm bills as the “first and only open-ended bitcoin fund approved by Canadian regulators,” has achieved mutual fund trust status under Canada’s Federal Income Tax Act. Units of a mutual fund trust are considered qualified investments under registered plans such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (“RRSPs”) and Tax-Free Savings Accounts (“TFSAs”).

The Hunton Andrews Kurth Blockchain Blog features opinions and legal analysis as we follow the development and use of distributed ledger technology known as the blockchain.

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