It has been known recently in the news that the Swedish government wants to add VAT on Bitcoin trading after receiving a request by a Swedish man trying to establish a Swedish Bitcoin exchange (you can read the story here in Norwegian). The man that contacted the Swedish government is very dissatisfied with their answer and tries to combat their views on Bitcoin trading. He believes that if Sweden enables VAT on Bitcoin trading, it will become useless as a currency.
The Swedish government explains that legal currencies are excepted VAT on trading, however they do not see Bitcoin as a legal and public currency hence it needs VAT. The disagreement has been brought up into the tax tribunal. The tax tribunal forwarded the dispute to the Swedish financial supervisory authority that says: “Since Bitcoin is being used as payment among many international and Swedish companies it must be qualified as a currency”. The tax tribunal has therefore supported the man with his claim that Bitcoin should be excepted VAT.
The Swedish tax administration is still disputing the decision by the tax tribunal and has taken the case to the Supreme Administrative Court and requested that it receives an opinion from the ECJ on whether VAT-obligation applies for Bitcoin trading.
Same issues in Norway
Also in Norway they tax administration has decided to tax Bitcoin wealth and add VAT on Bitcoin trading. However this is under review by the different courts and the financial supervisory authority of Norway has explained that they are currently wating for a common guideline from EU about digital currencies.
Here is a excerpt from the norwegian news about taxation of Bitcoin:
“I en uttalelse, som skal komme på bakgrunn av løpende henvendelser fra publikum, forteller Skatteetaten at elektronisk valuta har en rekke likhetstrekk med vanlige penger – selv om den ikke kan defineres som valuta etter loven.
På bakgrunn av dette skal gevinst fra salg av BitCoins beskattes, og da med 28 prosent. Sitter du med noen BitCoins på konto over nyttår må disse ifølge uttalelsen også føres opp i selvangivelsen, siden de vil være en del av beregningsgrunnlaget for formueskatten din – og dersom de fortsetter å stige som de har gjort de siste dagene, kan det fort bli ganske dyrt.
På den positive side betyr dette også at hvis Skatteetaten får viljen sin, og du skulle tape penger på BitCoins, vil du ha krav på å få 28 prosent fradrag på skatten. Både gevinst og tap skal da beregnes ut fra tidspunktet når du kjøper eller selger valutaen.”
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