The IRS’ claims against the crypto exchange could take precedence over claims of other FTX creditors.

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Updated May 10th, 2023 at 10:35 pm

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has filed 45 claims against the bankrupt FTX and its subsidiary companies.

According to bankruptcy filings on April 27 and 28, the IRS filed claims worth nearly $44 billion against the firms, including FTX.US and Alameda Research. 

Based on the department’s assessment, Alameda Research LLC owes a whopping $20.4 billion in unpaid partnership taxes and federal payroll taxes.

A snippet of the tax bill shared online details several hundred million dollars-worth of claims filed under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) – taxes that correspond to full-time employees. This suggests that the department reclassified all of FTX’s contractors to full-time employees in order to arrive at such a large tax payroll-related tax claim.

The insane Alameda Research LLC tax bill circulating is real. The major balances don’t have detail, but in part it appears the IRS went back and reclassified ALL employees from contractors to employees and hit them for unpaid employer-side employment taxes. pic.twitter.com/GuY6czcgMn

— Meat (🥩,🥩) (@MeatTC_) May 10, 2023

The IRS also filed claims against West Realm Shires, the legal entity behind FTX.US, Ledger Holdings, BlockFolio and other entities associated with the bankrupt crypto exchange.

The claims are filed under “Administrative Priority,” meaning that they take priority over most other unsecured creditors of the exchange. Unsurprisingly, this was not well received by the average FTX creditor with funds stuck on the exchange.

“Would love to understand how they came up with these numbers and what their plan is to acquire these assets…FTX/Alameda never even had this much money,” said Nick van Eck, a partner at General Catalyst.

Last month, Unchained reported that the FTX bankruptcy estate had recovered $7.3 billion worth of assets – a figure that is nowhere near what the IRS now claims the firm owes in taxes. Attorneys for the bankrupt exchange were considering reopening the exchange as part of a reorganization plan that would return value to creditors.

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