In a major regulatory move impacting the digital asset world, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) put forth draft guidelines on reporting rules catered towards digital asset brokers. The draft is a cog in the Biden Administration’s larger wheel aimed at regulating the digital asset industry. This proposed regulation, which aims to streamline tax reporting and inhibit tax fraud, is included in the 282 pages-long bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). It aspires to raise $28 billion in fresh tax revenue over a decade.
The proposed regulations, expected to come into effect in 2026, intend to regulate the sale and interchange of digital assets through brokers, recapitulating the reporting conventions of other types of assets. The proposed Form 1099-DA, according to the Treasury Department, would assist tax-payers in determining if they owe taxes, altogether sidestepping intricate calculations and dismissing the need for digital asset tax preparation services.
The regulations have not been commended by all. Patrick McHenry, chair of the House Financial Service Committee, labeled these regulations as “misguided,” and an extension of “the Biden Administration’s ongoing attack on the digital asset ecosystem.”
From the industry perspective, Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, cautioned that the rules must be tailored specifically to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, borrowing not too heavily from regulations on traditional assets. CEO of DeFi Education Fund, Miller Whitehouse-Levine, echoed Smith’s sentiment, calling the IRS proposal “confusing, self-refuting, and misguided.”
Despite the repercussions this regulation implies, exemptions were kept intact in line with the Keep Innovation in America bill, which aims to rectify the deficient digital asset reporting provisions in the IIJA.
This draft is not the ultimate decision, written comments on the proposal are being accepted through Oct. 30, and a public hearing will follow on an unspecified date. The digital asset community currently sits in a state of suspense, awaiting how this will reshape their domain. Simultaneously predictably, privacy concerns are being raised.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) released a report revealing the possibilities of distributed ledger technology (DLT) within their existing legal framework for real capital markets transactions, claiming potential for bond markets’ efficiency, liquidity, and transparency. However, challenges are foreseen in connectivity and interaction between different solutions and conventional systems to avoid fragmentation.
These regulatory events underline the potential of blockchain and digital assets, all while highlighting the importance of a regulatory framework that keeps up with- and facilitates- technology alignments. As global uptake of digital assets continues, so does the varied and intricate web of regulatory oversight and legislation.