A US Coinbase customer, who is also a lawyer with his own Law firm Berns Weiss, is taking the US IRS to task regarding the release of thousands of Coinbase users’ Data to the IRS. After the IRS realized he was a Coinbase customer, they removed his name from the summons of Coinbase user data requests.
This has not appeased him though, and he has pointed out this makes it obvious that they do not have a real reason to do it, but that it has been done on the grounds of intimidation, this has been done on the assumption that Coinbase users are guilty of flouting tax regulations, without any proof to the contrary.
It is going to prove an interesting legal battle, and it is sending the IRS a clear message that one cannot just be ham-fisted because they are a government agency. Many did not see the action of the IRS to be a surprise, as it was seen as a long time coming. Reasons like this are also the reason why you should use your own hardware, or Multisig software/2FA wallets and never use an online service to store coins as it is not only open to big losses such as those of Mt. Gox but reasons like this are the reason to be your own bank responsibly with Bitcoin.
It has been pointed out that if the IRS had attempted this with a regular bank, the reaction would have been more extreme than in this situation. It is likely that the publicity on this situation is going to turn the heat on the IRS. It is innocent until proven guilty, not presuming guilt.
Anyone who says ‘nothing to hide nothing to fear’ is also putting their trust that what is legal now would not be made illegal in retrospect and also if we do not have the right to see the entire internal workings of a government, then it must be an equal playing-field.
We will update more on this situation as it becomes available.