US taxpayers seem to want to keep cryptocurrency profits off the books

US tax app Credit Karma points at ultra-low IRS declaration numbers among early payers. 

As America heads towards what it, rather merrily, describes as its ‘Tax Season’, early statistics seem to indicate that US investors aren’t being particularly upfront about their cryptocurrency stashes.

According to financial management app provider, Credit Karma, of the first 25,000 early birds who’ve already submitted their tax returns via its software, only 0.4% of them reported cryptocurrency gains or losses big enough to interest the men and women of the Internal Revenue Service. That’s way, way below the sort of percentage of the US populace that are estimated to own such assets – a number that hangs around 7%, according to Fortune.

There’s still a way to go before deadline time, as the US Tax Day – again, they do go out of the way to make this sound like a celebration – falls on April 17th this year. However, on the back of recent survey work by Credit Karma, which reported 59% of 2,000 people questioned regarding crypto-related profits admitting they hadn’t declared them for tax purposes, it does seem to indicate a desire to keep gains made in Bitcoin et al to themselves.

Another caveat to these worrying numbers is that Credit Karma does not represent a cross-section of the US tax-paying populace, either in terms of income, age distribution, or tendency to submit so early. The latter, at the risk of being presumptive, may skew the 25,000 customers polled here into older age brackets, and thus not be representative of the crypto-boom demographic.

That being said, it’s not like paying tax appears popular among cryptocurrency investors on the whole. After all, last year saw IRS lawyers go after the Coinbase exchange for customer records after it received just 802 reports of Bitcoin investment in 2015. After fighting the case through US courts, Coinbase was told to hand over some 14,000 account details in the Autumn of 2017.

If the trend spotted by Credit Karma continues, it looks like the IRS may be chasing even more exchanges come next year.

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