Ohio became the first state in the U.S. to allow business entities to pay for a variety of taxes with cryptocurrencies.
According to the website, the enabling of cryptocurrency-denominated tax payments is part of efforts to make Ohio a leader in blockchain technology among U.S. states. “Treasurer Mandel believes in leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide Ohioans more options and ease while interfacing with state government,” the website reads.
Even entities without prior registration can set up their account in order to pay 23 different taxes, such as for tobacco sales, public utilities, general sales, motor vehicles fuel, commercial activity, and 911 Wireless. Currently, individual entities are not eligible to pay income taxes or other personal taxes using cryptocurrency.
Payments, in BTC, are to be processed by BitPay, so that none of the actual cryptocurrency goes to the Treasurer’s Office. The paid amounts are converted to U.S. dollars before being deposited into a state account.
Exchange rates are set for 15 minutes from when payment is begun, taking into account volatility of prices, wherein BitPay assumes any losses related to the trade.
Transaction fees are set at 0% of amounts paid for the first three months upon launch of the website, after which a 1% rate will be charged. Even at 1%, the Treasurer’s Office said, the fee was considerably lower than the 2.5% charged when using a credit card to pay on the Ohio Business Gateway.
Cryptocurrencies seem to be especially appreciated in Ohio. Just this month, Rep. Warren Davidson announced the filing of a bill that would classify initial coin offerings (ICOs) as a product distinct from that of a ‘security,’ so as to reduce the Securities Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) authority over such offerings. The bill seeks to be applicable at both a federal and state level.
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