Business 21 November 2018Ed Drake
To prevent tax fraud, Spain will keep an eye on 15,000 crypto investors
The Spanish Ministry of Finance is to inspect some 15,000 individuals who have engaged in cryptocurrency transactions over the last year, Spanish-language news outlet El Pais reported.
The announcement follows on from the introduction of compulsory reporting of cryptocurrency transactions for Spanish taxpayers, and will investigate whether there is any basis for prosecution over tax fraud from those who might have profited from their crypto investments over the period.
The policy is part of a wider crackdown on crypto investors in Spain, with the government keen to recover as much tax liability as possible from those dealing in digital assets.
As part of its annual tax control plan, the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), said it would be monitoring “the fiscal incidence of these new technologies, such as blockchain and, especially, cryptocurrencies,” with a view to preventing tax evasion and fraud.
According to AEAT, “The use of cryptocurrencies, such as [BTC], as payment means, is one of the most demanding challenges today. In order to face this threat, the use by the tax agency’s research units of the new information collection and analysis technologies in all types of networks will be enhanced.”
The move comes after the country’s National Fraud Investigation Office opened investigations into banks, financial companies and other organizations engaged in crypto transactions, before settling on a group of around 15,000 that have been earmarked for further inspection.
Should the investigations prove fruitful for the tax authorities, there is the suggestion that the scope of investigations could be broadened in future, potentially affecting a larger number of individuals with cryptocurrency holdings.
The Spanish authorities introduced measures back in October, requiring investors to declare the extent of their cryptocurrency holdings on an annual basis, in the form of a return to the tax office.
The AEAT has said it will now monitor those that are known to have been involved in cryptocurrency dealings, with a focus on those that have failed to fully declare capital gains or those who may have been involved in money laundering.
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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