Business 28 January 2019

Erik Gibbs

Indiana considering crypto tax payment laws

Ohio may have been the first state in the U.S. to legalize cryptocurrencies for tax purposes, but that was just the beginning. Since making the move last November, two other states – Wyoming and New Hampshire – have stepped up and are reportedly contemplating changes to their laws that would facilities tax payments through digital assets. Now, a fourth state is reportedly considering the move, as well, and the race is on to see who will follow Ohio’s lead. 

Indiana lawmakers are going to be reviewing House Bill 1683 (HB 1683), a piece of legislation introduced last Thursday. The bill seeks to have the state’s General Assembly amend the Code of Indiana to allow crypto for tax purposes. If it is enacted, it would pave the way for digital assets to be used for tax payments, penalties (such as speeding tickets), special assessments and other costs that are outlined under the bill’s current language. 

According to the proposal, “IC 6-1.1-22-19 is added to the Indiana Code as a new section to read as follows [Effective July 1, 2019]: Sec. 19. (a) The [Department of State Revenue] may approve the use of one (1) or more virtual currencies to pay taxes, special assessments, penalties, interest, costs, or any other liability imposed under this article.”

HB 1683 further states that county treasurers “shall determine the value of the payment in United States dollars at the time the payment is made by using the applicable exchange rate.” 

Provided it is accepted, the law would become effective as of July 1 this year. 

Ohio was the first state to legally recognize crypto for tax payments, but it wasn’t the first government entity to do so. In May of last year, Seminole County in Florida authorized Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for paying taxes. 

Georgia and Arizona have previously attempted to introduce crypto legislation, but those efforts fizzled almost as soon as they were introduced. 

In the case of New Hampshire, should the crypto tax law be approved, it would go into effect on July 1 of next year. Wyoming’s bill, as in the case of Indiana, would be effective as of July 1 of this year.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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