Cryptocurrencies Admitted in Latvia in order to be Taxed

Aimed to gain its share of the profits, the Latvian government might accept cryptocurrencies as a legal means of exchange
13 April 2018   693

Tax filing campaign of 2018 is taking place and authorities don’t have much time. Two parliamentary committees and the Ministry of Finance have revealed their views on the matter this week. Latvians may owe the state tax on their gains from crypto transactions very soon.

Some lawmakers admonished to their colleagues and constituents that cryptocurrencies are not considered a legal proposal in the Baltic state and come with speculative bubbles and financial pyramids. Members of the Financial and Capital Markets Committee, nevertheless, noted that cryptos can “function as a means of exchange”.

The Ministry of Finance claimed that the Latvian government is thinking comprehensive cryptocurrency regulations. The Prime-Minister`s working group stated by Māris Kučinskis has been directed to prepare the proposals. It is going to  study market risks, but also evaluate potential benefits associated with cryptocurrencies.

Cryptos are being strongly criticised by the Latvian politicians for failing to perform one or more of the functions of fiat money – means of payment, medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value. The “means of exchange” labeling now gives Latvian officials a possibility to tax cryptocurrency transactions. Maybe if they think about VAT, a “means of payment” status will also be attributed. No tax is presently due on crypto purchases of goods and services in Latvia.

There is no Latvian law to regulate cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin but authorities in Riga say revenues from crypto trading are subject to personal and corporate income tax. The country has a flat income tax rate of 23%. Incomes from dividends and interest are taxed at 10%. 15% tax is due on capital gains from shares, real estate, and intellectual property. The standard rate of Value Added Tax is 21%. Financial transactions are released from VAT. Tax returns in Latvia are filed between March 1 and June 1 of the year following the taxation year.

SEC to Need More Info on BTC ETF

SEC is gathering more input from the public – to date, according to the agency, more than 1,400 comments have been submitted
21 September 2018   134

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the beginning of a formal process for considering the application for the creation of bitcoin-ETF from the New York companies VanEck and SolidX. Nevertheless, the agency appealed to the community for more information. This is stated in the document published on the SEC website.

Institution of such proceedings is appropriate at this time in view of the legal and policy issues raised by the proposed rule change. Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather, as described below, the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change.
 

The US Securities and Exchange Commission

At the moment, the SEC received about 1,400 comments.

According to the document, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has signed an agreement on the exchange of data on bitcoin transactions, trading and the state of the market with the cryptocurrency trading platform with Gemini.

The agency asked commentators to clarify the position of Gemini in the digital currency market and assess the likelihood of increased volatility at this site in connection with possible trades of bitcoin-ETF.

So, before September 30, the department had to decide on whether to approve, deny or initiate the proceedings. The SEC chose the latter, which is likely to delay the process until the next year.