Tax authorities in Finland have begun matching bank records to cryptocurrency transactions in an effort to track down suspected Bitcoin tax cheats.
English-language Finnish news outlet Metropolitan.fi reports that Timo Puiro — the tax office’s inspector general — has identified at least 3,300 citizens who owe taxes related to gains accrued while trading cryptocurrencies. Collectively, they owe about 30 million euros in capital gains taxes — a tenfold increase from 2016.
According to the report, the tax office has taken advantage of “generous access” to bank transfers and other financial data, which officials have been able to successfully link to Bitcoin transactions from cryptocurrency exchanges and other trading platforms.
Using this data, the tax office has been able to identify Finns who taxes on their cryptocurrency gains, and it will scrutinize their annual tax returns to determine whether they pay them.
The latest date that taxes can be filed in Finland is May 15, so it is unclear whether residents are paying their cryptocurrency-related taxes.
However, the fact that many cryptocurrency investors do not report cryptocurrency trading on their tax returns is well-documented. US financial services company Credit Karma has said that among users of its tax preparation software cryptocurrency reporting is at “negligible levels,” and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has contracted with a blockchain forensics firm in the past to help the agency track down Bitcoin tax cheats.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was also recently forced by a court order to provide the IRS with access to customer records for high-volume users.
As BlockExplorer reported, tech conglomerate Amazon recently won a patent for a data streaming marketplace that would transmit information in real-time. The company identified catching Bitcoin tax cheats as one potential use case for the marketplace. Under the system, law enforcement agencies could subscribe to data streams for Bitcoin transactions and shipping information or bank records and then use in-app analytics tools to identify correlations in the data.
Featured Image from Pixabay