A court in Northern California has empowered the IRS to serve a “John Doe summons” to Payward Ventures Inc., which does business in the U.S. as cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, as it seeks information about user transactions with tax implications.
Per this summons, the exchange could be compelled to provide information on users who might have conducted transactions worth at least $20,000 between 2016 and 2020. Notably, this summon does not imply that Kraken is suspected of any wrongdoing.
“This John Doe summons is part of our effort to uncover those who are trying to skirt reporting and avoid paying their fair share,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
“Gathering the information in the summons approved today is an important step to ensure cryptocurrency owners are following the tax laws,” added acting assistant attorney general David Hubbert of the DOJ’s Tax Division. “Those who transact with cryptocurrency must meet their tax obligations like any other taxpayer.”
The IRS uses the John Doe summon to get details l about taxpayers from agencies or exchanges within the country for those it does not yet know the names of. This move on the part of the government, to gather more information about bitcoin users and compel them to follow regulations, highlights one of the primary reasons many have sought an alternative to the conventional financial system.
In the last 24 hours, bitcoin has been the highest-volume cryptocurrency traded on Kraken, with more than $430 million worth.