House members urge US treasury secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

House members urge US treasury secretary to clarify definition of broker in infrastructure law

A bipartisan group of representatives from the U.S. House of Representatives urged Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, to clarify language in the infrastructure bill that was signed into law in November. It included the definition of broker.

Patrick McHenry, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, and ten other representatives urged Yellen in a Wednesday letter to refer to the Keep Innovation in America Act in order to “ensure any future guidance” in November’s infrastructure bill will provide “the required clarity to the digital assets ecosystem.” The lawmakers suggested that the Treasury Department limit the information brokers can collect in order to avoid “the creation of an uneven playing field for transactions and those who are required to provide them with them”

Before the anticipated guidance on digital asset reporting requirements, RM @PatrickMcHenry and @RepTimRyan received a letter from colleagues to @SecYellen. They urged her to give more clarity to America’s entrepreneurs and innovators. Read more https://t.co/JquRbvVds9 pic.twitter.com/9hXZytbSkX
— Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte January 27, 2022

The House members believe that the current law’s wording would allow the Treasury to determine which individuals and companies in the crypto space are “brokers.” This would create a burden on them to report information they might not have. This would require miners, developers of software, transaction validators, and node operators, to report all digital asset transactions exceeding $10,000 to the Internal Revenue Service.

The letter to Yellen stated that “As nascent finance technologies develop, it is important to ensure that requirements imposed upon the digital asset ecosystem be both crafted and executed in such a manner to ensure the United States stays at the forefront of financial innovations.” We believe that consistent information reporting is essential for digital asset transactions. It should not stop these technologies and ecosystems from flourishing due to unclear regulations.

Related: A US congressman calls for broad, bipartisan consensus on key issues in digital asset policy

The appeal to U.S. Treasury secretary mirrors the December letter by six senators claiming that the infrastructure law has an “overly broad interpretation” of what a broker means and asking Yellen to provide guidance to correct this perceived error. Senators Rob Portman and Cynthia Lummis, Mike Crapo and Pat Toomey, Mark Warner, and Kyrsten Sinema urged Yellen for clarification of the language “in a expeditious fashion.” Senator Ron Wyden and Lummis also tried to pass legislation to change the tax reporting requirements so that they would not apply to those who develop blockchain technology and wallets on November 15.

None of the measures to clarify the language in the law have received enough support to be enacted. Many crypto advocacy groups and lawmakers have voiced concerns that the law could undermine the United States’ status as a country that encourages the development of innovative technology.

McHenry stated that “our innovators and entrepreneurs cannot wait.” “Secretary Yellen needs to provide clarity so that this nascent sector can thrive here in the U.S.”

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