Canada’s tax authority is reportedly asking a federal court to force cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare to hand over information and certain documents on all of its users since the beginning of 2013. The Canadian crypto exchange has over 200,000 users.
The Canadian tax authority has asked a federal judge to force Coinsquare “to hand over information and certain documents about all its clients” since the beginning of 2013, the National Post reported on Friday, elaborating:
The Canada Revenue Agency wants to know the identity of every client of a major Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform as part of its effort to fight tax fraud and the underground economy.
The tax agency claimed in a September filing that all the requested information is needed to ensure that customers of the crypto exchange complied with Canadian tax laws.
“Given the pseudo-anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies, the scope of non-compliance with Canadian tax obligations is difficult to measure,” explained Charles Drouin, a spokesperson for Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). “However the CRA presumes the opportunity for non-compliance to be high.”
The Canadian tax agency established a dedicated crypto unit in 2018 to conduct crypto-related audits. The regulator told Journal de Montréal last year that cryptocurrencies were increasingly being used to facilitate offshore tax evasion in the 54 criminal investigations it was conducting at the time.
In the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) took a similar approach, asking a court to force Coinbase to hand over customers’ data.
Toronto-based cryptocurrency trading platform Coinsquare launched in late 2014. It had approximately 235,000 client accounts as of Dec. 14, 2019, according to the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). The regulator accused the exchange of market manipulation with 840,000 wash trades worth approximately 590,000 bitcoins, representing about 90% of the exchange’s reported trading volume, the OSC detailed in a report released in July. The Commission subsequently settled with the exchange, imposing a fine of $2.2 million.
Coinsquare CEO Stacy Hoisak said in a statement to the National Post that her company was reviewing the CRA’s request and had not yet decided if it would fight it in court.