IRS Bolsters Digital Asset Expertise with Key Hires to Improve Cryptocurrency Compliance

Cryptocurrency, MoneyImage by Brandon Martinez

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a significant move that signals its growing focus on the digital asset space, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the hiring of two private-sector experts. Sulolit “Raj” Mukherjee, JD, and Seth Wilks, CPA, will serve as executive advisors, leveraging their substantial experience in the tax and cryptocurrency sectors to enhance IRS service, reporting, compliance, and enforcement programs for digital assets.

The move comes at a time when cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are rapidly gaining prominence, presenting new challenges and opportunities for tax administration. “This is a complex and evolving sector that has major tax administration implications,” said IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel. “It’s important we get this right for taxpayers and the nation.”

Mukherjee brings over a decade of experience as a tax executive, specializing in tax compliance and tax information reporting for financial institutions. Prior to joining the IRS, he served as Global Head of Tax at a private blockchain software technology company, giving him deep insights into the crypto industry.

Wilks, on the other hand, has been involved in digital asset tax policy for the past six years. His prior experiences include dealing with tax compliance and planning issues related to multinational corporations and manufacturing, with a specific focus on complex supply chains, transfer pricing, and cross-border transactions.

“Seth and Raj expand our ability to understand this sector while designing systems for reporting of cryptocurrency and digital assets and related transactions,” said Doug O’Donnell, IRS Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement.

The addition of Mukherjee and Wilks to the IRS team is part of a broader strategy to bolster the agency’s capabilities in the digital asset sector. With funding from the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS is working on improving taxpayer service, enhancing technology, and expanding enforcement efforts, particularly in high-wealth areas with compliance concerns.

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The agency is also setting its sights on emerging areas of compliance, with a significant focus on digital assets. This includes efforts through the John Doe summons and the release of proposed regulations of broker reporting in August 2023.

Digital assets refer to any digital representation of value recorded on a cryptographically secured, distributed ledger or similar technology. This encompasses convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency; stablecoins; and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

All taxpayers filing Forms 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120, and 1120S must answer a question about digital assets, indicating either “Yes” or “No.”

The IRS’s recruitment of private-sector experts underscores its commitment to adapting to the evolving landscape of digital assets. By doing so, it aims to ensure that tax administration keeps pace with technological advancements, safeguarding both the interests of taxpayers and the nation’s financial integrity. This move is a clear signal that the IRS recognizes the growing importance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets and is proactively working to stay ahead of the curve.

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