Portuguese Consumer Watchdog Wants Bitcoin Investors Taxed
Originally published on: CCN
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January 17, 2018
At a time in which the cryptocurrency ecosystem endures a significant correction as bitcoin dips below the $10,000 mark, Portuguese consumer protection association DECO wants the government to tax cryptocurrency investors. According to local publication Sábado, the organization sent the Ministry of Finance, and the European commissioner in charge of consumer defense a proposal to tax cryptocurrency gains.
According to the publication, DECO claims a standard 28% tax should be applied to cryptocurrency trading profits, as the same 28% tax is applied to profits earned from stocks and other financial instruments. DECO revealed the move in an edition of its “Proteste Investe” magazine, directed at traditional investors.
According to the organization, it’s unfair that traditional investors have to hand over nearly one-third of their profit, while cryptocurrency investors don’t have to pay anything. Its piece reads (roughly translated):
“What is the argument for not taxing this type of financial operation? A small saver who lends his savings to the state (via savings certificates) or who invests in a company’s shares and creates wealth and employment sees the government keep almost one-third of the profit (income and capital gains are usually taxed at 28%). How can we justify this fiscal inequality? It is difficult. “
André Gouveia, an economist at DECO, restated that every other type of investment is subject to a 28% tax, and as such it’s unfair cryptocurrencies remain exempt.
As previously covered by CCN, Portugal is a country in which the government wants to tax bitcoin users, despite a lack of regulations. The Ministry of Finance has made it clear bitcoin has no legal framework in the country, and yet it claims cryptocurrency earnings are taxable if earned as a result of a professional activity.
According to Sábado, the government is currently keeping potential bitcoin regulations in the hands of the European Union (EU). The government seemingly lets financial regulators, such as the country’s central bank, handle any cryptocurrency-related issues, along with the EU.
When asked, PS [pollical party] Parliamentary Group vice-president and party spokesman João Galamba said “bitcoin should be regulated at the European and G20 level,” adding that it would be counterproductive for the country to create “isolated initiatives.”
Sábado also spoke to left and right-wing parties. Left-wing parties clarified they aren’t planning on doing anything about cryptocurrencies, while right-wing parties stated they are “closely following” the subject, with one of the parties adding it’s evaluating the need for potential regulations.
As covered by CCN, Portuguese bank Santander Totta recently started blocking bitcoin-related transactions, a move that saw some of its clients change banks. As reported, Portugal’s Finance Minister and Eurogroup president Mário Centeno has stated he is confident regulators are overseeing bitcoin’s impact.
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