US tax authorities confiscated $3.5 billion in cryptocurrencies in 2021 and expect more confiscations in 2022.
US tax officials confiscated $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency during the fiscal 2021, according to a report from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released on Thursday. Cryptocurrencies accounted for 93% of all assets confiscated by tax authorities in this fiscal year.
The confiscated coins included $1 billion in bitcoins stolen from the Silk Road darknet online platform, which was closed in 2013. The division also brought to justice a former Microsoft developer who used cryptocurrency to hide $10 million he embezzled from the company.
“I expect a trend of crypto seizures to continue as we move forward into fiscal year ‘22,” IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Jim Lee said on a call with reporters. “We’re seeing crypto involved in a number of our crimes as we move forward.”
This week, US President Joe Biden approved an infrastructure bill that would expand tax authorities’ powers to oversee cryptocurrency transactions. In particular, the bill provides for the obligation of crypto companies to track transactions and report suspicious transfers to the IRS.
Lee also said that due to the large volume of work with cryptocurrency crimes, his division needs another 250-300 specialists.