In a recent tax controversy forum hosted by New York University, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General to the Department of Justice Tax Division (DOJ-Tax), Richard Zuckerman, said that his team is increasing its focus on individuals attempting to use bitcoin and other digital assets to evade taxes. DOJ-Tax is currently prosecuting several criminal cryptocurrency cases, and Zuckerman noted that others are already in process.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Chuck Rettig supported this intent, noting that the IRS is hiring new staff to expand its criminal enforcement of cryptocurrency tax crimes.
“We’re usually behind the curve,” said IRS tax investigator Gary Alford. “But in this case, we are ahead of the curve. We didn’t know [before] if we were at the point where we can bring it for criminal prosecution. We are at that point now.” Alford famously assisted in 2013 with shutting down the bitcoin-based darknet marketplace, Silk Road, and the arrest of its founder, Ross Ulbricht.
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