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A California judge has authorized the Internal Revenue Service to issue a "John Doe" summons to SFOX, a principal broker.
If granted, the subpoena would request user identity and transaction details for anybody who completed at least $20,000 transactions between 2016 and 2021.
In a memo on the SFOX summons, Hubbert stated that IRS Agent Seng Lee had identified ten SFOX clients accused of circumventing tax rules.
Included among these taxpayers is an individual who “apparently participated in a Ponzi scheme” and received nearly $1 million in deposits through SFOX but did not disclose it to the IRS in 2016, 2017, or 2018. The IRS believes that a “YouTube creator and online gambler” acquired around $120,000 in bitcoin from their subscribers, swapped it for U.S. dollars through an SFOX account, but did not record it on their tax return.
Tuesday’s press statement from Deputy Assistant General David Hubbert stated, “The information requested by the summons authorized today will contribute to ensuring that cryptocurrency owners comply with tax regulations.”
The approval of a summons does not indicate any suspicion of misconduct against SFOX. However, this would require SFOX to produce a list of all users who fit the government’s requirements. The tax authority would match the identities and transaction histories with other information to assess whether or not individuals had broken tax law.
SFOX did not answer Decrypt’s request for comment immediately.
It is the latest effort by the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service to apprehend cryptocurrency dealers who neglected to declare transactions on their tax filings.
In 2017, judges authorized the IRS to serve Coinbase with a John Doe summons. Consequently, the corporation shared data on around 14,000 of its subscribers. Despite early opposition, the courts issued John Doe summonses to Kraken and USD Coin issuer Circle last year (along with Poloniex, which split from Circle in 2019).
Other taxpayers highlighted in the document include those who placed thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into SFOX accounts, swapped them for dollars, moved the funds to their bank accounts, and failed to declare any gain or loss from the transactions.