It appears that Spain’s tax authorities have taken more interest in the cryptocurrency industry. The Spanish tax authority, Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT) has sent a Request for Information (RFI) to investors seeking to capitalize on the growing cryptocurrency market in Spain.
According to El Confidencial local news source, the country is looking at curbing tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes been committed through cryptocurrency, El Confidencial further reported that Spain has contacted up to 16 banks, 12 cryptocurrency exchanges and 40 business that transact on digital currency. This move is aimed at gathering vital information such as the identities of their customers, bank details, amount transacted and even credit cards information.
The tax agency reveals that the collated data requests is a run-up to a more formal investigation and monitoring considering that it has already analyzed various digital currency usage in Spain. The Spanish government believes cryptocurrency could be linked to organized crimes and as such should be regulated and supervised.
Recently, AEAT has clampdown on big companies like AirBnB who is reportedly evading online tax. The AEAT has officially joined other countries worldwide to establish tax guidelines for companies operating in cryptocurrency, to that effect the agency published a resolution on Tuesday 20th, January 23, 2018.
In the publication (translated from Spanish), the Directorate General of the Agency State Tax Administration outlined several “lines of action” that are important for preventing and controlling fraud. These guidelines revolve around four main pillars:
- Fraud prevention, information and assistance.
- The investigation and the verification actions of tax and customs fraud.
- Control of fraud in the collection phase.
- The collaboration between the Tax Agency and the tax administrations of the Autonomous communities
Despite this development, the Spanish government is hoping to boost the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry by bringing in more foreign and local investors to the sector. It will consider a new law in which will cut tax on income made through cryptocurrency drastically. The new legislation will exempt certain companies utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrency from paying tax. The bill being proposed by the ruling People’s Party also proposes other incentives to attract startups seeking funds through Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).