IRS Confirms It Trained Staff on Finding Crypto Wallets

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That's according to a slide deck presentation from an IRS cyber training session, which details a number of ways the agency's criminal investigators might find potential crypto tax cheats.

"Issuance of a Grand Jury Subpoena should be considered for Apple, Google, and Microsoft for the Subject's complete application download history," says the slide deck prepared by James Daniels, the program manager for cyber crimes at the IRS' criminal investigation unit.

The IRS confirmed to CoinDesk that the slides were genuine.

Justin Cole, director of communication and education at IRS' criminal investigation unit, said the materials were presented to agency staff at an event at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., on June 5-7.

He would not say whether the IRS will definitely implement the suggested measures.

Daniels' presentation also suggested that the IRS request information from "Those who know the financial habits of the Subject, including, but not limited to, bank tellers, family and friends of the Subject, and establishments the Subject frequents that may accept bitcoins."

"A Grand Jury Subpoena should also be considered for the Subject's financial accounts, including, but not limited to, the Subject's bank, credit card, and PayPal records," the document goes on, for the further analysis of transactions.

The IRS's subpoena power applies in civil cases as well as criminal ones, noted Lisa Zarlenga, a partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson.

Zarlenga pointed out, the IRS is required to notify taxpayers before it subpoenas third parties, so people will likely know if the tax agency is looking for their bitcoin.

The IRS is getting ready to issue new guidance on reporting crypto for tax purposes, the first to come out since an initial notice published in 2014.