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EU’s Top Court Rules Bitcoin Currency Trades Should Be ‘Exempt From VAT’

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM

Bitcoin should be exempt from VAT in Europe the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, ruled today. The court has been hearing a case for numerous months, and has only now come to its recommendation. 

The EU court stated , Bitcoin transactions “are exempt from VAT under the provision concerning transactions relating to currency, bank notes and coins used as legal tender.” The case was between the Swedish Tax Authority and the nation’s Revenue Law Commission. It commenced only after a Swedish citizen asked for clarification on the VAT on Bitcoin question.

That national, David Hedqvist, has sought for multiple years to open a Bitcoin exchange. He operates Bitcoin.se, a Swedish Bitcoin Information site. Several European Bitcoin companies helped pay for Hedqvist’s lawyers.

The ruling follows on recent moves by European governments to exempt Bitcoin from VAT, such as the United Kingdom.

The European Union has investigated crypto-currencies multiple times. The European Central Bank (ECB) published a report recognizing their quick growth. The report, “Virtual currency schemes – a further analysis,” contained 37-pages regarding the risk of Bitcoin and their uses.

“Many schemes have appeared, and some have already disappeared again, but around 500 exist at the time of writing,” the report said.

“Bitcoin is used for around 69,000 transactions per day worldwide, compared with a total of 274 million non-cash retail payment transactions per day for the EU alone.” 

The ruling today in Europe comes just one month after the US ruled Bitcoin a commodity.

Image from Shutterstock.