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Intuit CEO warns of large tax bills for Bitcoin and NFT traders

February 2, 2022, 8:18 PM UTC

Intuit Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sasan Goodarzi warned that Americans who invested in speculative assets like Bitcoin or nonfungible tokens, and actively traded equities on commission-free websites could be dumbfounded at this year’s tax bill. 

“We’re gonna see a lot of that throughout tax season, where folks just didn’t understand what they did. And there’s a lot of millennials that really did a lot of trading without knowing what the implications are,” Goodarzi said in an interview. “They are shocked as to how much money they’ve lost or how much they owe because they were in essence gambling with their money.”

Regulators have signaled they are preparing to act aggressively to ensure those who purchased NFTs are taxed appropriately. However, there remains some confusion over how the sale or purchase of tokens will be evaluated by the Internal Revenue Service. For example, NFTs, which give buyers the rights to digital images, could face a tax rate as high as 37%.

But a murky tax code may also benefit Bitcoin investors, as it could allow them to claim deductions over losses that were then reinvested within a certain time frame. Meanwhile, some individuals who traded on platforms like Robinhood Markets Inc. over the past year—many that were likely first-time investors—remain confused over whether they actually need to file and could face large tax bills.  

Intuit is prepared for that confusion among taxpayers. The Mountain View, California-based financial software provider has been hiring experts to help tax filers online, a service known as “TurboTax Live,” which Goodarzi said “is the fastest growing platform we’ve ever had in the company’s history.”

“What we are seeing is folks not understanding the implications of the income that they make,” he said. “We have over 50 million TurboTax customers. Anonymously, we can look at data patterns, provide insights. So that’s where the real sort of leverage comes in for us.”

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