Jason Tyra is a Certified Public Accountant in Texas. His firm provides the full gamut of accounting services – from bookkeeping and payroll to audits to federal and state consulting. Yet he decided early on in the development of his practice that Bitcoin would be a core focus of his work.
Few accountants today have the skills and experience necessary to provide accounting services related to Bitcoin, but the demand is growing fast. IRS guidance was quite limited when he first began working on Bitcoin related questions. “It’s getting a little better now than it was a year ago,” says Tyra. Recent IRS guidance has clarified many of the issues, but there is still significant value that an accountant with the requisite knowledge can bring to the table for a merchant who accepts Bitcoin or an individual who is holding the digital currency.
Tyra has been able to carve a lucrative niche for his practice; positioning himself as one of the few accountants providing advice on Bitcoin. And he has made news for eating his own cooking – that is he is accepting Bitcoin in exchange for his services as well.
Tyra initially heard about Bitcoin from a National Public Radio podcast entitled Planet Money as early as 2009.
To date, he has kept abreast of the developing digital currency landscape primarily through his Twitter feed. He also gets updates on Reddit, and is a member of the Bitcoin Foundation. “I’m not a technical guy,” Tyra says, “That’s not what I focus on.” Tyra leaves the coding and the development of the protocol to the experts – leveraging his professional skills and recognizing that the most significant economic boon will be to the providers of professional services necessary in the emerging digital currency economy.
Tyra noted that nations across the globe are considering the tax implications of digital currencies. He monitors the more forward thinking jurisdictions, as they provide a bellwether for the IRS.
“The feedback loop between the media and the ecosystem is interesting,” Tyra says, “because normally you don’t see that kind of direct engagement between individual people and major publications.” Bitcoin, given its avid supporters and detractors, is an exception.
This past year was the first time Tyra has had a significant number of clients needing to incorporate Bitcoin into their tax returns.
The number one piece of advice Tyra offers his clients related to Bitcoin is to “pay your taxes.” As a CPA, Tyra warns that Bitcoin is taxable, and he is encouraging the public to do the right thing and report their income. “Even if you think the IRS will have a hard time catching up with you,” says Tyra “sooner or later someone in that space is going to get bitten, especially as Bitcoin continues to grow, there will come a day of reckoning.”
Tyra proudly notes that his clients are not going to be the ones that suffer, because they do the right thing.
His advice to other professionals trying to build their businesses related to Bitcoin is to “be patient and humble,” he says. There is a lot that professionals can do to get smarter on Bitcoin. Don’t fear if you don’t know everything at the outset. There are resources to help you learn and grow your business.
“There’s opportunity for other professionals in Bitcoin,” says Tyra. “Especially in accounting.”
Jason M. Tyra, CPA, PLLC
PO Box 690161
Killeen, TX 76549