Spanish Tax Authority Set for Showdown Over Crypto Tax Evasion
The Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), more commonly known as the Agencia Tributaria, the tax agency of the Spanish government is set to take a hard-line stance on what it suspects to be tax evasion activities aided and abetted by cryptocurrencies.
The move comes as yet another chapter in the growing Spanish narrative with regard to the market. Spain now joins a list of countries including Australia, the United States, and several EU nations that are taking steps to prevent crypto-fueled tax evasion.
Request for Trading Information
According to reports in the local Spanish media, the country’s tax agency has requested for names and trading data pertaining to crypto traders. These requests have been made to a total of 60 finance companies.
Commenting on the development, an unnamed source revealed that the firms that have been asked to turn over crypto buyer information include banks, crypto trading platforms, and even securities firms.
It is reported to be the most significant action ever taken by the government in its quest to prevent cryptocurrency from being used as an avenue for tax evasion and money laundering activities.
The move is reported to have come about as a consequence of an investigation carried out by the National Fraud Investigation Office. The investigative probe examined the bank accounts of foreign-exchange platforms.
The new development by the tax agency is part of the overall agenda of the government to put a stop to online tax evasion. In the last few years, there have reports of widespread tax evasion in the country, primarily by noted celebrities such as musicians and even football players. The country now seems to be turning its attention to Internet-based companies and the activities of their clientele.
A History of Spanish Crypto Taxation Policies
In September of 2017, the country’s tax agency released a notice stating that taxes would be imposed on Bitcoin mining.
The notice classified mining as an economic activity, hence, the profits from the venture were liable to be taxed. According to the statement, miners could be charged anywhere between ten and 47 percent of the profits made from their mining activities.
A large part of the decision to tax Bitcoin miners was to curb money laundering and other illicit financial activities that could be perpetrated under the guise of mining operations.
In another twist to the overall story, reports began to circulate in February 2018, that the country was mulling over a series of tax exemptions for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology companies. The proponents of this particular piece of legislation were members of the country’s ruling party who believe that such a move would positively affect the country’s economy. Part of the sentiment behind the bill was to attract foreign direct investment targeted at the country’s crypto market.
Describing the blockchain from a non-threatening regulatory point of view, the sponsors of the bill hoped to emphasize the benefits that could be accrued from creating a welcoming environment for crypto and blockchain enterprises in Spain.