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crypto news crypto taxes Jun 13, 2024

Celsius's recent bankruptcy declaration in 2022, followed by the indictment of its CEO, Alex Mashinsky, early in 2023, has sent ripples through the cryptocurrency investment community. This event has raised numerous questions and concerns, particularly around the concept of clawbacks—a term that has become all too familiar for investors who had funds on the platform. There was a distribution from Celsius back to the people who had funds invested there, but many are concerned about the clawback.

The Celsius Collapse: A Turning Point for Crypto Regulation and Investor Rights

The downfall of Celsius not only highlighted the volatile nature of cryptocurrency investments but also brought to the forefront the legal mechanisms in place to deal with the aftermath of such a bankruptcy. In early 2024, Celsius began distributing assets back to its investors, a move that sparked widespread discussion about clawbacks and the legal basis behind them.


Clawbacks Explained: Insight into Preferential Payments

The term "clawback" refers to the process where individuals who withdrew significant amounts from an investment platform like Celsius shortly before its bankruptcy might be asked to return those funds. The rationale is that these withdrawals, particularly if made based on insider information, could be seen as preferential payments. The law aims to redistribute such funds more equitably among all creditors, assuming that not everyone had access to the same information.

The Investor's Standpoint: Facing the Clawback Dilemma

The clawback applies to people who withdrew capital in excess of €100,000 from Celsius within 90 days of its declaring bankruptcy. Clawback is an informal term for what the law calls preferential payments. The concept is that preferential payments are given to people who had the inside scoop that things were getting bad and took their money out because they had gotten insider information. So if you benefited from that insider information, you owe it back to all the other creditors who did not have that information. This is the legal argument behind the clawback.


For many who withdrew their investments from Celsius, the decision was based on publicly available information and the visible signs of the company's declining stability—not insider knowledge. This stance poses a significant challenge for the Celsius administrators, who must prove that an investor had acted upon insider information to justify a clawback.


Legal and Tax Implications of Clawback Scenarios

Investors confronted with a clawback request face a complex scenario that intertwines legal and tax considerations. Paying a clawback can lead to reporting a capital loss on tax returns while refusing to pay—based on the argument of not having insider information—carries its own set of implications and requires a strong legal stance. If you do pay a clawback, then that's an additional capital loss on that transaction, which you report in Form 8949. If you don't pay the clawback, then there's no impact on your tax return.



The recent Celsius bankruptcy case highlights the importance of understanding legal and tax obligations for crypto investors. It's crucial to stay informed and prepared for potential legal challenges when investing in digital currencies.


If you've been impacted by the Celsius bankruptcy, is here to provide essential insights and personalized guidance. Understand your rights, and fulfill your tax obligations as a crypto investor. Contact us today for a consultation and navigate these challenging times with expert support.

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