Crypto bull John McAfee threw down the gauntlet to the US Internal Revenue Service, and dared the agency to come after him for tax evasion.
McAfee confessed in a stunning tweetstorm that he hasn’t filed a tax return in eight years. Why? He explained:
McAfee then claimed that he’s a “prime target for the IRS” before defiantly challenging the agency to pursue him. “Here I am,” he goaded.
Preceding the Twitter dare was a blistering attack on the tax-collection agency, which McAfee says has gotten too powerful and intimidating.
“It now destroys us,” he lamented.
Before that, McAfee provoked the IRS, saying: “I have prepared my entire life for this battle. We will not be able to shrug off the yoke of this corrupt and insane government without a struggle.”
Hours earlier, McAfee lambasted the agency, saying “taxation is theft. It is unconstitutional.”
It’s unclear what McAfee meant as he has a reputation for being eccentric and a history of making bizarre Twitter rants.
John McAfee is a cybersecurity pioneer who created the McAfee anti-virus software program.
At the peak of his wealth, McAfee’s net worth topped $100 million. After the 2008 US financial crisis, McAfee claimed he lost most of his fortune.
McAfee now charges about $105,000 to post a tweet, according to his website. This earned him an unsavory reputation as a crypto shill who will promote anything as long as he gets paid.
As a result, McAfee has sometimes gotten himself in trouble over his tweets. In May 2018, he was forced to apologize amid revelations that an ICO he endorsed had plagiarized its website content and whitepaper from another project.
In June 2018, McAfee — a libertarian — announced that he planned to run for president in 2020. He later admitted that the announcement was a PR stunt, and that the only platform for his presidential campaign would be to promote crypto.
Meanwhile, the Internal Revenue Service has stated that investors who earn money on their cryptocurrency holdings must pay taxes on their gains. In February 2018, the IRS ordered top crypto exchange Coinbase to turn over data on 13,000 customers.
On February 23rd 2018, Coinbase sent a notice to all affected users on its website :
“Coinbase notified a group of approximately 13,000 customers concerning a summons from the IRS regarding their Coinbase accounts.”
Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos bemoaned his fate on Twitter.
Many Coinbase customers were upset that IRS received their accounts records. Some thought that because crypto is decentralized and largely unregulated, they’re immune from taxation.
Other users were upset that Coinbase had not given them advanced notice that they would have to file taxes on their crypto investment gains.
In December 2018, former US Congressman Ron Paul urged the government to abolish the Federal Reserve and exempt all cryptocurrencies from taxation.
Ron Paul blasted the Fed for manipulating interest rates, saying these artificial market machinations cause recessions.
Paul said the only way to avoid a Fed-created recession is to let people use alternative currencies like bitcoin and to exempt crypto from taxes.