Are cryptocurrency ransom payments tax deductible?
About 2,000 years ago during its Han dynasty, China made peace with some of the nomadic people of Central Asia who continuously ransacked Silk Road traders for an easy payday. It did so in order to fully establish the Silk Road trade route, which stretched from China to Europe, and to secure a great source of wealth from trading in luxury goods.
Now, as trade increasingly has shifted to the digital realm during the global COVID-19 pandemic, cyberattackers are taking advantage of organizations’ lax cybersecurity measures. They are using ransomware to lock these organizations’ data with encryption until a ransom payment in cryptocurrency is made. Back in 2019, 98% of ransomware payments were made in (BTC).
Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA, is an international tax attorney and certified public accountant who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.
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