The ongoing IRS investigation against Coinbase is far from over at this point. A federal court granted a stipulation filed by the government to move the hearing date for Jeffrey Berns’ motions. Berns still continues to oppose the IRS’ John Doe summons, as he feels the investigation based on prejudice rather than solid evidence. Obtaining sensitive customer records from bitcoin enthusiasts raises a lot of questions, that much is certain.
Unfortunately, it looks like the IRS-Coinbase investigation is far from over right now. The motion filed by Jeffrey Berns to intervene and quash the summons was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm. Moreover, Coinbase filed a similar motion to intervene, which is scheduled for a hearing on February 16. However, both Berns’ and Coinbase’s motion hearings have been moved to March 23, for some unknown reason.
Another Plot Twist In The IRS Bitcoin investigation
This new date was proposed by the federal government, and the federal court agreed to this new date last night. On this date, both the motions by Berns and Coinbase will be heard on the same day. While this gives both parties more time to prepare, it also goes to show the original reasoning behind this John Doe summons is not time-sensitive by any means. A rather strange development, although not entirely surprising by any means.
According to the IRS, this new date is not chosen to delay the continuance of this hearing. Instead, the United States is – allegedly – looking to file a petition to enforce other action related to the John Doe summons. Providing more time to hear the movants’ motions could end up save the Court valuable time and resources. It seems this move hints at the IRS withdrawing their initial Summons, although that has not been confirmed at this point.
Do not be mistaken in thinking the US government shows no further concern over bitcoin users, though. Despite the lack of evidence to back up any money laundering claims, the IRS will continue to monitor bitcoin activity. It is not unlikely the government will use other means to get what they need, although it is anybody’s guess what those methods may involve.
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