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Abstract

Cryptocurrencies have long captured the attention of the financial world, revolutionizing how the world does business by providing virtually costless transactions. More recently, however, a new digital token has taken its place on the world stage. Known as NFTs, non-fungible tokens have allowed for the reinvention of modern finance infrastructure consisting of sophisticated trading and loaning systems for different asset types. Despite cryptocurrencies’ and NFTs’ novelty and popularity, they are not immune to the U.S. Tax Code. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided guidance on the tax framework of cryptocurrencies, but the taxation of NFTs is still relatively unclear, leaving taxpayers to rely largely on the cryptocurrency tax framework to address NFT taxation. The cryptocurrency framework, however, does not fully address all issues that may arise in NFT taxation. Virtual currencies have drawn much excitement, sparking the popularity of cryptocurrencies and NFT investors but have also drawn the scrutiny and worry of tax regulators. The U.S. has been experiencing a significant tax gap between the money taxpayers make from the transactions of these crypto assets and the amount of taxes paid to the IRS. Specifically, to blame for this tax gap are the novelty of these crypto assets, their inherent anonymity, their cross-border nature, and their independence from governmental or financial institutions. This article discusses the taxation of cryptocurrencies, its influence on a potential NFT-specific tax framework, why crypto assets are the weapon of choice for tax evaders, and the possible solutions the U.S. can pursue to remedy crypto asset tax evasion.

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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.25172/smustlr.25.2.8