US lawmakers asked the the Internal Revenue Service how US residents should pay taxes on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in a remarkable letter that shows just how unregulated the cryptocurrency space remains.

More than a decade after bitcoin was first introduced, the IRS has released just one public notice on how to pay taxes on digital holdings. That lack of guidance is leaving American taxpayers with “unacceptable” ambiguity on reporting requirements, the letter signed by 21 members of Congress on Monday said.

“Taxpayers deserve clarity on several basic unanswered questions regarding federal taxation of these emerging exchanges of value,” according to Tom Emmer, a congressman from Minnesota who signed the letter. “Guidance is long overdue and essential to proper reporting of these emerging assets.”

The IRS did not respond to a request for comment.

As it stands, cryptocurrency is treated as property by the US government, meaning capital gains taxes apply to every transaction, whether it’s buying a $1m home or…

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