Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the obligations on declaration and taxation. In recent weeks, the Mef has asked the Inland Revenue to intensify checks on owners. Useful information to know about the sector.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will be subject to careful checks regarding the reporting obligations and taxation. The idea emerged in recent weeks by the Ministry of Economy itself, which asked the Revenue Agency and the Guardia di Finanza to intensify checks on transactions. The verifications they will focus, in particular, on those who have carried out transactions within the trading platforms.
Those wishing to buy Bitcoin or other digital currencies must in fact make use of so-called exchanges. These are sites that allow the exchange of current money (such as the euro) in cryptocurrencies. In many cases, these platforms are foreign and do not fulfill the legal obligations regarding the communication of exchanges to the Revenue Agency. But this does not exclude holders of Bitcoin or other digital currencies from complying with their declaratory obligations.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: how taxation works and what are the obligations towards the taxman
From a practical point of view, the first obligation of the tax resident in Italy compared to cryptocurrencies is that of declaration. The taxman must in fact be informed about the value of their cryptocurrency portfolio through the tax return. A second obligation concerns the possible capital gain obtained through the exchange of digital currencies. The taxpayer is required to declare the latter and pay the relative rate.
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In particular, if the cryptocurrency wallet was found to exceed 51645 euros for a period of time longer than seven days, it is necessary to pay the tax rate of 26% on any earnings. Below the threshold just indicated, nothing is due. On the other hand, the obligation to include cryptocurrency investments within the RW part of the tax return remains fixed.
In this regard, it is important to note that the declaration indication is mandatory if you hold virtual currencies within a wallet with tax residence abroad. While the report is not necessary if the detention takes place with a private key or using a private electronic wallet.
More certainty is needed on the taxation of cryptocurrencies
The picture just highlighted makes it clear, however, that the interventions implemented so far by the legislator need to be more organic. In fact, Italian law does not provide for a specific rule on the taxation of cryptocurrencies. What has been applied up to now therefore derives from interpretations of current laws, as well as from responses to inquiries made to the Revenue Agency.
This is a situation which therefore presents a character of uncertainty, unlike what happens in other European countries. France, Spain and the UK have specifics laws on the matter, as well as the United States. In Italy it was decided to extend the taxation on foreign currencies to cryptocurrencies.
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This assessment is obviously subject to discussion, both by the very nature of the Bitcoin, both because many cryptocurrency holders do not use them as a currency, but rather as an investment. Also for this reason, many tax experts struggle to give a certain answer on the most correct way to manage the tax part of this type of investment.
The new tax controls and the complications due to digital transactions
An additional element must be added to the scenario just highlighted, namely that of the traceability of transactions. The Ministry of Economy has expressly requested the supervisory bodies of carry out more careful checks regarding new cryptocurrencies. But controls are complicated when Bitcoins are not traded through a traditional bank.
The transactions that take place on the exchange platforms, such as Coinbase or Kraken, often make it difficult to trace the owners of the operations. When transactions take place outside traditional banking circuits, it is objectively complicated to trace and keep track of movements. Finally, the blockchain systems underlying many exchange processes make it even more difficult to carry out checks.
This is why many transactions at present could still escape the eyes of the taxman. In fact, the obligation to declare by completing the RW framework of the single model individuals could be disregarded by many without direct consequences. In order to simplify the controls and taxation processes, an intervention by the legislator is therefore needed, capable of regulating this new type of investment in a clear and safe way.
What are cryptocurrencies and how they work
Cryptocurrencies emerged with the arrival of new technologies and digital markets and they are leading to significant changes in the global economy. The term cryptocurrency is composed of the union of two nouns: crypto and currency. The first indicates the possibility of making the owner hidden through the use of a code or a computer key. The term currency, on the other hand, indicates an instrument of exchange of value.
Cryptocurrencies are therefore digital financial tools that can be used as a medium of exchange, but also as an investment. They do not exist in physical form and need a digital wallet (called a wallet) to be accumulated. They are not legal tender and are not regulated by central government bodies. This last characteristic also determines the high volatility of the prices, as well as the high risk of losses (as well as gains) assumed by those who decide to use these instruments in a speculative perspective.