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FTX's Legal Showdown: Battling the IRS's $24 Billion Tax Claim Threatening Creditor Recovery

FTX's Struggle Against IRS Tax Claim: A $24 Billion Legal Showdown. Impact on Creditor Recovery Looms Large. Allegations of Fraud and Meritless Claims Unveiled. Dec. 12 Court Date Holds Key to Cryptocurrency Exchange's Fate.

FTX, the beleaguered cryptocurrency exchange currently navigating bankruptcy proceedings, is grappling with a formidable obstacle in the form of a proposed $24 billion tax bill from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS). FTX asserts that the exorbitant tax claims, initially set at $44 billion and later reduced, are "meritless" and pose a significant threat to the prospects of meaningful recovery for creditors and victims of the exchange's alleged fraudulent activities.

Source: Kroll

The IRS's Pursuit:

Since May of the current year, the IRS has been diligently pursuing outstanding tax liabilities from FTX and its affiliate, Alameda Research. The initial claim amounted to a staggering $44 billion across 45 separate claims, which were subsequently narrowed down to the current $24 billion. FTX, in response, has vehemently contested the legitimacy of these claims, asserting that the IRS's pursuit lacks legal merit.

FTX's Defense:

In a filing submitted to a Delaware-based bankruptcy court on December 10, FTX argued that the IRS's claims were baseless and would impede the distribution of funds intended to reimburse FTX users who fell victim to the alleged fraud. FTX's legal representatives contended that the IRS's assertion that the crypto exchange owes taxes in an amount far surpassing its actual earnings lacked any factual foundation.

FTX's Struggle for Creditor Recovery:

FTX expressed concern that if the IRS's claims were to be upheld, it would prevent the majority of FTX's creditors—themselves victims of the purported fraud—from obtaining any meaningful recovery. The exchange emphasized the absence of any substantiated basis supporting the IRS's tax claims and criticized the tax authority's reliance on internal processes, which, according to FTX, only serve to delay rightful distributions to the injured parties.

The Legal Battle Unfolds:

The disagreement between FTX and the IRS is poised to enter the legal arena, with a court date scheduled for December 12, where the legitimacy of the $24 billion tax claim will be scrutinized. FTX maintains that the claim lacks legal merit and characterizes the IRS's argument as an "Alice in Wonderland" scenario without legal support.

Current Financial Status:

While navigating these legal challenges, FTX's administrators have managed to recover approximately $7 billion in assets, including $3.4 billion in cryptocurrencies. However, the looming IRS tax claim poses a substantial threat to the equitable distribution of these assets among creditors.


FTX finds itself ensnared in a legal quagmire as it contests the IRS's formidable $24 billion tax claim, challenging the very foundation of the tax authority's pursuit. As the court date approaches, the outcome of this legal battle will significantly impact the potential for meaningful recovery for FTX's creditors and victims of the alleged fraud. The cryptocurrency community watches closely as FTX strives to navigate its way through bankruptcy proceedings and confronts the considerable challenge posed by the IRS.


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