The Federal Tax Service is preparing rules that will oblige investors to declare their digital money. This document should not be adopted in the current version and needs to be improved, since it will complicate the legal circulation of cryptocurrency in Russia, experts are sure
The bill on amendments to the Tax Code implies the introduction of the obligation of citizens to inform about the ownership of cryptocurrency. The new document received a lot of negative reviews, so it was assumed that it will undergo major changes. However, on Monday, January 5, a scan of a letter from the Federal Tax Service to one of the authors of the comments – ANO Tsifrovaya ekonomika – appeared on the Internet. According to the content of the letter, the service does not plan to radically change the document.
The draft law on taxation of cryptocurrencies was adopted by the State Duma in the first reading on February 17. The document provides for the need to inform the tax authorities about the possession of digital currencies if the amount of transactions on them per year exceeds 600 thousand rubles.
Income from operations with cryptocurrency is proposed to be levied with personal income tax (PIT) or income tax, while there is no value added tax (VAT). For failure to provide data, the tax authorities will be able to fine violators by 10% of the amount of digital currency write-off or the amount of digital currency received by the person who controls it. Also, the deputies propose to establish a fine of 50 thousand rubles for individuals and organizations that did not provide information on obtaining the right to dispose of digital currency within the specified timeframe, including from third parties.
“The new law complicates the circulation of cryptocurrency in Russia”
Yuri Brisov, member of the Commission on the Legal Support of the Digital Economy of the Moscow Branch of the Association of Lawyers of Russia
The law-making activity of the Federal Tax Service in terms of the force of pressure can only be compared with the activities of the ruler of ancient Athens Drakont. First, the concept of the presumption of taxpayer fault was approved, according to which any person is considered to have not paid tax until proven otherwise. Another logical, but no less grandiose step towards erosion of the usual pillars of law is the imputation of property. In accordance with this innovation, any person can be considered the owner of cryptocurrencies until they prove otherwise.
This is the main complaint about the bill, there are many details: it does not take into account the methods of obtaining cryptocurrency, for example, mining, inheritance, donation, chance. Volatility is not taken into account. Ignored transactional mobility (the ability to hold hundreds of currencies in the wallet at the same time) and much more.
It is difficult to say whether this bill will be adopted, which by the way does not coincide in many respects with the provisions of the previously adopted law “On CFA”. In one, these two documents are similar – both documents absolutely complicate the legal circulation of cryptocurrency in our country. De facto, the participants in the economic turnover have a choice:
- either stay as far away from blockchain technology as possible;
- or completely operate outside the law.
“The law requires unambiguous revision”
Expert of Moscow Digital School Irina Muraschenkova
The draft law on amendments to the tax code was adopted in the first reading and, at the same time, caused a flurry of criticism, in my opinion, quite justified. For a long time, the law on digital financial assets was discussed and adopted, but even after its adoption, many issues of regulating cryptocurrency remained unresolved, in particular, if there is a direct ban on the use of crypt as a means of payment for TRU (goods, works, services), there are no rules for issuance established by law and circulation of cryptocurrency, but transactions using cryptocurrencies are possible, the rights of the parties to such transactions are protected by law.
That is, it seems to be there, but at the same time it is not legally in the quality that makes it so attractive.
In such circumstances, it would be advisable to focus on eliminating the existing gaps, and to resolve the issues of taxation of cryptocurrency and tax control gradually. The position of the Federal Tax Service outlined in the letter on the issue of determining the market value of digital assets, in my opinion, does not stand up to criticism. The authors lack understanding of the essence and specifics of cryptocurrency.
It should be noted that the issue of determining the cost of CFA can be safely attributed to one of the most controversial. The problem is closely related to the monetary value of the CFA in a particular period. I believe that the position of the Federal Tax Service, set out in the letter “we will tell you what it costs and how much,” looks unfounded. At one time in the MO AYR, when discussing this issue, at least three options for determining and reflecting the cost of CFA were considered:
– the rate of a specific digital coin to BTC at the internal rate of an electronic wallet or exchange account, subject to corporate verification by a legal entity, and so on;
– the BTC rate to the US dollar established by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) as an industry community in the Russian Federation;
– the official exchange rate of the US dollar against the ruble, established by the Bank of Russia.
So the question is complex and requires a more balanced approach.
Similarly, the letter from the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation regarding the receipt of bank statements on transactions with the CFA confirms that in this part the authors of the response ignore the provisions of tax legislation, which does not contain the wording “there are no signs of a possible violation of tax legislation”. “Vague doubts” cannot be the reason for the actions of the tax authority set out in the draft.
In my opinion, the bill requires unambiguous revision and in the form in which it passed the first reading, it cannot be adopted. Otherwise, it is better to immediately admit that we do not have a goal to regulate the turnover of cryptocurrencies, but the task is to complicate this turnover as much as possible. Probably, the risks of using cryptocurrencies “for other purposes” are so frightening that it is easier to ban than to create comfortable conditions for legal and conscientious users in their country. Well, they will go where it is better.