Legislation

Senators’ cryptocurrency amendment blocked after receiving Yellen’s stamp of approval

A cryptocurrency amendment intended for inclusion in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which aimed to define which groups would be subject to greater enforcement regulations, was blocked on Monday.

It was blocked by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., after another senator attempted to tack on additional military funding. An effort to pass it without the additional defense funds was also blocked.

Earlier on Monday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen voiced her approval of the amendment, saying it would help reduce tax evasion in the cryptocurrency market.

“I am grateful to Senators Warner, Portman, Sinema, Toomey and Lummis for working together on this amendment to provide clarity on important provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure deal that will make meaningful progress on tax evasion in the cryptocurrency market,” Yellen said.

CRYPTOCURRENCY CRACKDOWN WOULD RAISE TENS OF BILLIONS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN, ANALYSIS FINDS

The provision addressed which groups of people would be classified under the term broker and therefore subject to the new reporting requirements. Pursuant to the amendment, which has not yet been publicly detailed, certain groups would be exempt, like bitcoin miners.

In a tweet on Monday, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he was pleased with the outcome of the negotiations and added that the provision would not harm innovation.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, suggested on Twitter that he may have preferred the amendment exempt more groups, like the amendment he proposed last week along with Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

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Sens. Portman and Mark Warner, D-Va., later put out their own amendment, which changed the exclusion terms to more narrowly exempt certain groups. This amendment also received support from the White House.

Monday’s announcement represented a compromise between the two parties.

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As previously reported by FOX Business, increasing reporting requirements on cryptocurrency transactions is expected to raise nearly $28 billion over the course of 10 years, according to an estimate released by The Joint Committee on Taxation on Monday.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig requested broader authority from Congress in June to collect information on cryptocurrency transactions. 

Rettig said that these transactions, by design, are often “off the radar screens,” while noting that the most recent market cap in the crypto world exceeded $2 trillion and more than 8,600 exchanges worldwide.

Altogether the infrastructure bill calls for about $550 billion in new federal spending.


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