A federal court in the District of Massachusetts authorized the IRS to serve a "John Doe" summons on a Boston-based "digital currency exchanger" seeking information about as yet unidentified U.S. taxpayers who, from 2016 to 2020, conducted at least $20,000 in cryptocurrency transactions.
According to the DOJ, the District Court Order allows the IRS to serve the John Doe summons in connection with an investigation of "an ascertainable group or class of persons" where the IRS reasonably believes that such group or class "failed to comply with any provision of any internal revenue laws." The petition does not allege the digital currency exchanger, Circle Internet Financial Inc. and related entities (including Poloniex LLC), engaged in wrongdoing. However, the Court found there is a reasonable basis for the IRS to believe that some of Circle's customers may have violated federal tax laws.
IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig stated the summons will enable the IRS to identify individuals who are failing to report virtual currency transactions.
In 2014, the IRS issued guidance noting that virtual currencies that can be converted into traditional currency are property for tax purposes.