Internal Revenue Service today issued Notice 2014-21 providing answers to 16 FAQ’s while dealing with Virtual Currency such as Bitcoins. These FAQ’s explains how the transactions using Bitcoins are treated for Federal tax purposes. In general, Bitcoins are treated as property for U.S. tax purposes and general tax rules for property transactions apply in these cases.
The Notice further states that:
Among other things, this means that:
- Wages paid to employees using virtual currency are taxable to the employee, must be reported by an employer on a Form W-2, and are subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes.
- Payments using virtual currency made to independent contractors and other service providers are taxable and self-employment tax rules generally apply. Normally, payers must issue Form 1099.
- The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer.
- A payment made using virtual currency is subject to information reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.
In tax year 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, some 3.3 million taxpayers claimed deductions for business use of a home (commonly referred to as the home office deduction) totaling nearly $10 billion.
The new optional deduction, capped at $1,500 per year based on $5 a square foot for up to 300 square feet, will reduce the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on small businesses by an estimated 1.6 million hours annually.
The new option is available starting with the 2013 return taxpayers are filing now. Normally, home-based businesses are required to fill out a 43-line form 8829 often with complex calculations of allocated expenses, depreciation and carryovers of unused deductions. Instead, taxpayers claiming the optional deduction need only complete a short worksheet in the tax instructions and enter the result on their return.
IRS today announced that it posted the revised FATCA regulations in the Federal register for publication.
This contains the regulations coordinating chapters 3, 4, 61, and Section 3406 of the Internal Revenue Code as well as the revised final FATCA regulations.
IRS also posted on its website the revised certain FATCA Forms. These Forms were in draft form until now:
- Form 1042
- Form 8966
- Form W-8BEN
- Instructions to Form W-8BEN
- Form W-8ECI
- Instructions to Form W-8ECI
It is important to note that the foreign entity receiving the US source FDAP income should file Form W-8BEN-E and is not eligible to file W-8BEN.