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IRS Wants Court Authority To Identify Bitcoin Users & Transactions At Coinbase

IRS Wants Court Authority To Identify Bitcoin Users & Transactions At Coinbase

IRS Wants Court Authority To Identify Bitcoin Users & Transactions At Coinbase
November 22
23:31 2016

IRS Wants Court Authority To Identify Bitcoin Users & Transactions At Coinbase

 

Kelly Phillips Erb ,

Nov 21, 2016 @ 09:21 AM

Forbes Staff

Dear Coinbase,

Please send us your customer list.

XOXO,

IRS

Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that sweet, but it was definitely that broad. Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed paperwork in federal court (California Northern District Court, Case No. 3:16-cv-06658-JSC) requesting the identities of United States Coinbase customers who transferred convertible virtual currency at any time between December 31, 2013, and December 31, 2015. Coinbase, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a company which facilitates transactions of digital currencies like bitcoin and Ethereum.

The request was made by the DOJ on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); the IRS is seeking the authority to serve the “John Doe” summons on Coinbase.

A “John Doe” summons can only be served by the IRS after a federal court gives approval. By statute, a “John Doe” summons is an order that does not specifically identify the person but rather identifies a person or ascertainable group or class by their activities. Examples include investors in a particular tax shelter or account holders at a defined financial institution: the IRS has made use of the procedure when seeking information about offshore accounts related to the UBS investigation, Paypal accounts, and various credit card companies.

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