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Top Senator Slams Infrastructure Bill Crypto Tax Draft

Top Senator Pat Toomey says that Congress should be careful about the impact of the U.S. infrastructure bill on the cryptocurrency sector.

Top Senator Slams Infrastructure Bill Crypto Tax Draft
Shutterstock cover by Christopher Halloran

Key Takeaways

  • Senator Pat Toomey has said that Congress should be careful about passing the proposed U.S. infrastructure bill.
  • He argued that the crypto provision within the bill should be amended as it may be "hastily-designed".
  • The bill proposes that all "brokers" in the cryptocurrency sector should report crypto transfers to the IRS.

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Some American legislators have spoken against the proposed U.S. infrastructure bill that aims to implement a stringent tax reporting regime on crypto transfers.

Top Senator Says Infrastructure Bill is “Hastily-Designed”

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey has spoken against the proposed cryptocurrency tax provision in the infrastructure bill.

He called for not rushing forward with the bill without understanding its consequences.

The proposed U.S. bipartisan infrastructure bill hopes to finance infrastructure projects worth over $1 trillion across the U.S., and proposes that $28 billion should be raised through crypto taxation.

To this end, the bill proposes that all “brokers” in the cryptocurrency sector should report crypto transfers to the Inland Revenue Service, issue tax forms, and share data with other exchanges. Non-compliance would lead to strict penalties for said brokers.

However, many experts believe that the most critical issue is the definition of a crypto broker within the bill. The latest draft defines a broker as a “person responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person.”

Many have argued that the broad definition of a broker within the bill’s provision could apply to non-broker entities such as miners, validators, and even developers. The use of traditional terminology such as “broker” to describe market participants in the cryptocurrency space has also sparked criticism from crypto followers who argue that such wording shows the legislators lack the necessary knowledge of the space.

Toomey, who’s also a Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, said that Congress should be careful in passing the proposed bill. Toomey is a known crypto investor; he gained exposure to Bitcoin and Ethereum through Grayscale Trust’s GBTC and ETHE shares last month.

In a statement published Monday, he warned that the bill had been “hastily-designed,” before adding that the legislators must properly evaluate the impact of the bill before passing it. He also argued that the text was “unworkable” and needed amendment so that miners, validators, and other service providers are not affected. He said:

“Congress should not rush forward with this hastily-designed tax reporting regime for cryptocurrency, especially without a full understanding of the consequences. By including an overly broad definition of a broker, the current provision sweeps in non-financial intermediaries like miners, network validators, and other service providers.”

If the bill is passed, U.S.-based crypto exchanges will have to record and report information like name, address, and the public address of transactions worth more than $10,000. Much of the criticism leveled at the proposed bill stems from fears that stringent reporting could lead to overregulation of the cryptocurrency sector in the U.S., potentially harming a major area of financial innovation.

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