The 2022 annual report from the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) division (the Report) demonstrates an impressive year for enforcement, particularly with regard to cryptocurrency. Following the publication, CI Chief Jim Lee made clear that the division will continue to closely scrutinize crypto transactions. He warned: “Expect more outward-facing tax crypto cases here in the near future” – “outward-facing” referring to publicly brought charges. Lee also warned that criminal charges may result from “off-ramping transactions” (i.e., the process of converting digital assets into fiat currency). Bolstered by the prominent placement of reporting language on the front of Form 1040, law enforcement can be expected to bring more criminal tax cases against those who fail to disclose transactions involving digital assets. Given the division’s 90.6 percent conviction rate on cases accepted for prosecution in fiscal year (FY) 2022, companies and individuals should act now to work with counsel to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

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