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The IRS Is Inviting Crypto Firms to a ‘Summit’ in DC Next Month

The Internal Revenue Service has invited a number of undisclosed crypto startups to a summit on March 3 to discuss its existing approach to taxing cryptocurrencies as well as enforcement efforts, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by CoinDesk.

Bloomberg Tax first reported the news Tuesday. An IRS spokesperson confirmed the summit is set for next month.

The summit, to be held at IRS's Washington, D.C. headquarters, will consist of four panels addressing technology, issues faced by exchanges, tax returns and regulatory compliance. A list of panelists has yet to be finalized.

Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association advocacy group, told CoinDesk the IRS has been looking into setting up a summit since at least last month, when it reached out to industry participants for suggested panelists.

"My understanding of the event is this is going to be something where the IRS is going to use this as an opportunity to learn from [participants] in the ecosystem but [it] may help inform IRS’s thinking," she said, pointing to compliance with existing regulation and guidance as one area on which the agency is focused.

While the IRS has not explicitly said the summit will inform its future guidance, Smith said she hopes the agency will use the information it gathers from the event to develop better regulatory frameworks around cryptocurrency moving forward.

The news comes days after the Government Accountability Office, a Congress-funded watchdog for government agencies, announced the IRS had declined to adopt several recommendations to clarify its existing guidance.

The IRS published fresh guidance around cryptocurrencies last autumn, addressing hard forks, how to calculate gains and valuing crypto income. However, the guidance, the first published since 2014, raised new questions around airdrops and did not address small transactions.

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