IRS Criminal Investigator Eyes Bitcoin and Crypto Users and Operators
Officials at the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are closely monitoring Bitcoin ATMs.
IRS criminal investigation chief John Fort says his agency is working with police officials to identify illicit transactions involving crypto ATMs, to collect applicable taxes on customers’ legal ATM transactions and to stop crypto tax issues as an emerging threat.
Fort tells Bloomberg Law,
“We’re looking at those [cryptocurrency kiosks,] and the ones that may or may not be connected to bank accounts….if you can walk in, put cash in and get Bitcoin out, obviously we’re interested potentially in the person using the kiosk and what the source of the funds is, but also in the operators of the kiosks.”
There are 4,129 Bitcoin ATMs located in the US allowing users to pay a fee to exchange fiat money for the equivalent in various cryptocurrencies. Fort says they can also facilitate criminals in money laundering and that the IRS is trying to identify any operators with compliance issues.
“[Bitcoin ATM users are] required to abide by the same know-your-customer, anti-money laundering regulations, and we believe some have varying levels of adherence to those regulations.”