The Spanish Ministry of Finance has closed a legal loophole allowing holders of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to skirt asset declaration laws. Announcing a draft anti-fraud law approved by the Council of Ministers earlier today, Finance Minister María Jesús Montero explained that the new law will mandate “the identification of the holders and the balances contributed by these virtual currencies,” obligating crypto asset holders to declare all cryptocurrency asset holdings.
Spanish daily newspaper ABC.es reports that Montero further stated that all Spaniards with offshore currency holdings in fiat or crypto must declare these holdings in an annual declaration to Spain’s Agencia Tributaria.
The draft law is intended to raise a further 850 million euros in tax revenue at a time when Spain is in desperate need of extra government revenue to fund investment and welfare spending in a country with 33.8 percent youth unemployment.
To assist revenue generation efforts, the Spanish government has introduced a draft bill to impose a 0.2 percent tax on purchases of listed shares valued at more than a billion euros. Whether this will have any impact on cryptocurrency investment remains unclear at the moment as no further information was forthcoming at press time.
In what may possibly be significant news for crypto traders depending on the Spanish government’s interpretation of crypto trading as a commercial activity, the so-called “Tobin tax” provision in the draft bill states that intraday net transactions will be taxed, which means that users buying and selling several assets in the same session will only be taxed based on their position at the start of trading and at close, regardless of the number of trades that took place during the period in question.
ABC.es also reports that a taskforce made up of 200 officials will be mobilized to monitor tax evasion and tax defaulters who owe the Spanish Treasury 600,000 euros or more, which is significantly down from the previous threshold of 1 million euros. This effort will be assisted with the creation of a framework for supplying VAT information immediately. The list of countries designated as tax havens will also be expanded as the Spanish government looks to block all available loopholes for tax avoidance.
In July, CCN reported that five countries namely, the UK, US, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands created the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) partnership aimed at combating transnational tax evasion and money laundering.