Chairman Carper Reacts to Internal Revenue Service’s New Guidance on Transactions Involving Digital Currencies

WASHINGTON- Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) new guidance regarding transactions involving virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin.

“The Internal Revenue Service’s guidance today provides clarity for taxpayers who want to ensure that they’re doing the right thing and playing by the rules when utilizing Bitcoin and other digital currencies.  In August of last year, Dr. Coburn and I wrote to the Department of the Treasury and other agencies urging Federal officials to work together and develop thoughtful guidance related to virtual currencies- a call I have reiterated many times, including during our Committee’s November hearing.  I’ve long advocated for narrowing our nation’s estimated $385 billion tax gap but it’s tough for people to pay their taxes if they have to guess the amount they owe. The Government Accountability Office and the National Taxpayer Advocate have cited clear Internal Revenue Service guidance as a crucial step in making sure taxpayers are compliant and that we are limiting the potential tax vulnerabilities that digital currency may present.  I am pleased that the IRS is taking this important step to provide clarity for taxpayers regarding the treatment of digital currencies.  As I’ve said before, the implications for digital currency are wide ranging and demand a whole-government approach. Today, we’ve seen a key agency attempt to put one more piece of the puzzle into place.  My staff and I look forward to reviewing the guidance in full and to continuing to work with our Administration and Congressional partners on these issues as they continue to emerge.”

Chairman Carper’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the first Congressional hearing on Bitcoin and digital currencies on November 18, 2013.