European High Court Decides Bitcoin Should be Tax-Free ...

To be clear: An unfavorable ruling by the European Court of Justice regarding VAT and Bitcoin would make accepting Bitcoins for merchants in the EU around 20 % more expensive than other payment solutions.

Scenario: Carlos, a customer, buys a pizza from Mark, the merchant, and pays in Bitcoin.
First of all: The question is not, whether VAT applies to the pizza. That will definitely be the case. If I'm buying a laptop in, let's say, Germany for 1190 EUR, then 190 EUR of that (VAT in Germany is 19 %) goes to the tax man, regardless of whether I pay with euros, bitcoins or gold.
The question is, what happens to the bitcoins afterwards. The merchant now has bitcoins and will want to get rid of them at some point. Either to exchange for euros or to buy a product or service. So he is again selling a "product" (this time bitcoin, considered a commodity under current German tax law, as far as my reading of the law goes). If the product is not ruled VAT-exempt, he will have to pay another 19 % (or whatever the rate in his country is) at that point.
That's the issue.
Another question is, whether that also applies, if the merchant uses BitPay. In the worst case, BitPay could be considered as just an agent acting in the name of the merchant (their terms of use suggest something like that), thereby still putting the merchant in a position, where he - from a tax perspective - has briefly owned bitcoins and then sold them again.
In my opinion, this tax question is super critical and needs to be the top discussion right now. The Bitcoin Foundation and other Bitcoin associations (Bundesverband Bitcoin e.V. in Germany) need to closely follow the case C-264/14 Skatteverket v David Hedqvist where the European Court of Justice will decide about just that. And we need to provide resources to bring about a sensible ruling.
See http://www.bitcoin.se/2014/08/21/i-need-your-help-funding-legal-costs-in-a-case-at-the-eu-court-of-justice-related-to-bitcoin-and-vat-exemption/ and consider donating!
Edit: I should have added the disclaimer, that I'm not a lawyer and this is just my personal interpretation, which very well might be wrong. I have however been following this topic for a while, talked to various parties and read some of the laws involved.
Edit 2: Alright, a little intermediate summary of the discussion below: I'm probably mistaken about the details of case C-264/14 as rtuck99 pointed out. It seems that case will only deal with the question of whether bitcoin exchange fees are VAT-exempt. In my opinion my larger point still stands though, that the ECJ will likely decide about VAT on the bitcoins themselves at some point. Compare the UK guidelines on Bitcoin and VAT with this statement by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (in German, alternatively see this press release by Bundesverband Bitcoin e.V. in English). These two guidelines are - in my opinion - incompatible with each other. Something that ultimately the ECJ will have to resolve. Maybe that will not happen as part of case C-264/14 (but it might, as it's somewhat related, so it still seems risky to me, to let David Hedqvist fight that on his own), but it will happen eventually and we need to have our side presented well then.
Edit 3: David Hedqvist commented below that the case might indeed deal with the issue in a broader sense.
submitted by jav_rddt to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

German Ministry of Finance just confirmed European Court of Justice judgment from 2015: Virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies, e.g., Bitcoin) are treated as money in terms of VAT. (Source in German)

submitted by Juergen_L to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

German Ministry of Finance just confirmed European Court of Justice judgment from 2015: Virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies, e.g., Bitcoin) are treated as money in terms of VAT. (Source in German)

submitted by domelane to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

US OFAC issues advisory: ransom payments for ransomware may involve felony charges and personal civil liability for staff.

Relevant Excerpt:
Under the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) or the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA),9 U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions, directly or indirectly, with individuals or entities (“persons”) on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), other blocked persons, and those covered by comprehensive country or region embargoes (e.g., Cuba, the Crimea region of Ukraine, Iran, North Korea, and Syria). Additionally, any transaction that causes a violation under IEEPA, including transactions by a non-U.S. person which causes a U.S. person to violate any IEEPA-based sanctions, is also prohibited. U.S. persons, wherever located, are also generally prohibited from facilitating actions of non-U.S. persons, which could not be directly performed by U.S. persons due to U.S. sanctions regulations. OFAC may impose civil penalties for sanctions violations based on strict liability, meaning that a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction may be held civilly liable even if it did not know or have reason to know it was engaging in a transaction with a person that is prohibited under sanctions laws and regulations administered by OFAC.
Sauce Here: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/ofac_ransomware_advisory_10012020_1.pdf
OFAC Sanctions list here: https://sanctionssearch.ofac.treas.gov/
Analysis: Both TWEA and IEEPA carries Criminal and Civil penalties, so under these acts they can fine the company, fine staff directly, or press criminal charges. We know the US Government as part of both the 5 eyes agreements and domestic bank monitoring programs under FACTA monitors all international wire transfers. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies generally leave a paper trail that can be traced back to who purchased the currency.
What I expect to start happening here is most CFO's are going to write off the cost of the ransom as a tax deduction which tips off the IRS that a ransom of some kind was paid. I expect the next step is the IRS is going to start asking for additional proof of payment and additional information about the cases. That puts CFO's in a bind, because I expect both the IRS, and federal courts, won't let it fly that you didn't know who you were paying money to under the TWEA. They'll sit on the data, and when eventually an APT Group gets compromised, they'll trace the payments back via said tax records. At that point, if your org paid under this, that data gets used to open up a search warrant and then they rip you a new one especially if the payment was substantial.
The bigger issue here is it opens up tremendous liability for security services firms and insurers who pay ransoms on behalf of clients or advise clients to pay ransoms.
Now is a good time to review your backup strategy and ensure you have tested backups that are isolated from your infrastructure.
For those of you with your hands tied behind your back, now is a good time to gently remind your management staff, and especially the CFO if you have their ear, that they cannot rely on the renound cryptographic competence of our eastern european bretheren, and that their worst-case risk is a determined remote attacker and adversary of the US infecting your network, destroying the data while making it look like a ransomware attack, selling you worthless encryption keys to fund their operation before flaunting the fact they took you for a fool with a press release taking credit for the attack to tip off state government you paid them in order to further disrupt the company operations via putting your talented technical staff or c-suite staff in handcuffs and injuring your PR.
To those of you in the business who are afraid of being scapegoated or in a tenuous situation, getchu some evidence tape and some tags, some vanilla envelopes and a glue stick. Print 2 copies, put one copy in a folder, seal it with evidence tape and a tag, then use your handy glue stick to adhere the other vanilla folder to its back and put the 2nd copy in so you can review the paperwork without breaking the evidence seal and shove that sucker in a fire proof safe or safety deposit box. Also, Mailstore home is free.
TL;DR: If your company is attacked by ransomware, tell the management only facts of the occurance you know, what you can and cannot do for them, and don't advise them of anything upto and including getting a security services firm involved. I wouldn't even tell them paying the ransom might work. If you're going to have a verbal conversation, make it a one-on-one.
Happy Saturday all!
submitted by JohnWickBOFH to sysadmin [link] [comments]

German Ministry of Finance just confirmed European Court of Justice judgment from 2015: Virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies, e.g., Bitcoin) are treated as money in terms of VAT. (Source in German)

submitted by HiIAMCaptainObvious to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

Bitcoin ‘Should Be Exempted from VAT’ Says European Court of Justice Official

submitted by TheCastro to worldnews [link] [comments]

Court of Justice of the European Union: The exchange of traditional currencies for units of the ‘bitcoin’ virtual currency is exempt from VAT (2015)

submitted by f00000000 to CryptocurrencySA [link] [comments]

Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing

Article from Jesse Frederik at the Correspondent
Highlights:
At its core, blockchain is a glorified spreadsheet (think: Excel with one table). In other words, a new way to store data. In traditional databases there’s usually one person who’s in charge, who decides who can access and input data, who can edit and remove it. That’s different in a blockchain. Nobody’s in charge, and you can’t change or delete anything, only view and input data.
Nakamoto thought that everyone would be able to work equally hard to solve the puzzles. But some companies have exclusive access to specialised hardware, cheap electricity and space, which makes them much better able to fulfil this role. What was envisioned as decentralised has become centralised again, because of the advantages of scale.
Out of over 86,000 blockchain projects that had been launched, 92% had been abandoned by the end of 2017, according to consultancy firm Deloitte.
Firstly: the technology is at loggerheads with European privacy legislation, specifically the right to be forgotten. Once something is in the blockchain, it cannot be removed. For instance, hundreds of links to child abuse material and revenge porn were placed in the bitcoin blockchain by malicious users. It’s impossible to remove those.
The presumed hackers of Hillary Clinton’s email were caught, for instance, because their identity could be linked to bitcoin transactions. A number of researchers from Qatar University were able to ascertain the identities of tens of thousands of bitcoin users fairly easily through social networking sites. Other researchers showed how you can de-anonymise many more people through trackers on shopping websites.
The fact that no one is in charge and nothing can be modified also means that mistakes cannot be corrected. A bank can reverse a payment request. This is impossible for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So anything that has been stolen will stay stolen. There is a continuous stream of hackers targeting bitcoin exchanges and users, and fraudsters launching investment vehicles that are in fact pyramid schemes. According to estimates, nearly 15% of all bitcoin has been stolen at some point.
Solving all those complex puzzles requires a huge amount of energy. So much energy that the two biggest blockchains in the world – bitcoin and Ethereum – are now using up the same amount of electricity as the whole of Austria. Carrying out a payment with Visa requires about 0.002 kilowatt-hours; the same payment with bitcoin uses up 906 kilowatt-hours, more than half a million times as much, and enough to power a two-person household for about three months.
OK, so with bitcoin, banks can’t just remove money from your account at their own discretion. But does this really happen? I have never heard of a bank simply taking money from someone’s account. If a bank did something like that, they would be hauled into court in no time and lose their license. Technically it’s possible; legally, it’s a death sentence.
Of course scammers are active everywhere. People lie and cheat. But the biggest problem is scams by data suppliers. (for instance: someone secretly registers a hunk of horse meat as beef), not by data administrators (for instance: a bank makes money disappear).
A blockchain is a database – it’s not a self-regulating system that checks all data for correctness, let alone one that calls a halt to unauthorised building works. The same rules apply for blockchain as for any database: if people put garbage into it, what comes out is also garbage.
Or as Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine wrote: “My immutable unforgeable cryptographically secure blockchain record proving that I have 10,000 pounds of aluminium in a warehouse is not much use to a bank if I then smuggle the aluminium out of the warehouse through the back door.”
Data should reflect reality, but sometimes reality changes and the data stays the same. That’s why we have notaries, supervisors, lawyers – actually, all those boring people that blockchain thinks it can do without.
But wasn’t that the whole point of blockchain, that you could do without these trusted third parties? So what are they doing here?
If you ask me, they’re building a completely normal, run-of-the-mill database, but extremely inefficiently. Once you’ve cut through all the jargon, the report turns out to be a boring account of database architecture. They write about a distributed ledger (that’s a shared database), about smart contracts (that’s an algorithm) and about proof of authority (that’s the right to veto whatever is entered in the database).
“I work with code, so people see me as a magician,” he said proudly. It was always rather surprising to him – a magician? He spends half his time yelling at his screen in frustration, while he programmes strips of duct tape to repair creaky PHP script from years and years ago.
What Tim meant was that ICT is like the rest of the world – a big old mess.
And that’s something that we – outsiders, laypeople, non-tech geeks – simply refuse to accept. Councillors and managers think that problems – however large and fundamental they are – evaporate instantaneously thanks to technology they’ve heard about in a fancy PowerPoint presentation. How will it work? Who cares! Don’t try to understand it, just reap the benefits!
According to a recent survey carried out by consultancy firm Deloitte, 70% of business executives said they had a lot of expertise in the field of blockchain. The greatest advantage of blockchain, according to them, is its speed. That's a bit stupid, because even fanatics see speed as a problem, not a feature.
This is the market for magic, and that market is big. Whether it’s about blockchain, big data, cloud computing, AI or other buzzwords.
submitted by makeitwain to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

European court ruling bolsters bitcoin

submitted by reddibrek to reddCoin [link] [comments]

European court declares Bitcoin exchange tax-free

submitted by simpaon to worldnews [link] [comments]

European court rules that Bitcoin transactions should be tax free, bypassing VAT taxes

submitted by StrikitRich1 to DailyTechNewsShow [link] [comments]

A Legal Perspective of the European Court Ruling Exempting Bitcoin from VAT Tax

A Legal Perspective of the European Court Ruling Exempting Bitcoin from VAT Tax submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

Court of Justice of the European Union: Bitcoin exchanges are VAT- exempt

Court of Justice of the European Union: Bitcoin exchanges are VAT- exempt submitted by knight222 to btc [link] [comments]

A Legal Perspective of the European Court Ruling Exempting Bitcoin from VAT Tax

A Legal Perspective of the European Court Ruling Exempting Bitcoin from VAT Tax submitted by knight222 to btc [link] [comments]

To be clear: An positive ruling by the European Court of Justice regarding VAT and Bitcoin would be hilarious.

To be clear: An positive ruling by the European Court of Justice regarding VAT and Bitcoin would be hilarious. submitted by TulipCoins to Buttcoin [link] [comments]

A Lawyer’s Comment to the European Court of Justice Judgment on Bitcoin VAT exemption in Europe

A Lawyer’s Comment to the European Court of Justice Judgment on Bitcoin VAT exemption in Europe submitted by vlarocca to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

European court ruling bolsters bitcoin

European court ruling bolsters bitcoin submitted by vlarocca to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Six Questions to Make Sense of the European Court of Justice Decision on Bitcoin VAT

Six Questions to Make Sense of the European Court of Justice Decision on Bitcoin VAT submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

Six Questions to Make Sense of the European Court of Justice Decision on Bitcoin VAT

Six Questions to Make Sense of the European Court of Justice Decision on Bitcoin VAT submitted by BTCNews to BTCNews [link] [comments]

European Court of Justice Set for Bitcoin VAT Decision

European Court of Justice Set for Bitcoin VAT Decision submitted by VivaLaPandaReddit to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Exchanges Ruled Tax-Free By Top European Court

Bitcoin Exchanges Ruled Tax-Free By Top European Court submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

European Union Top Court Rules Bitcoin Exchange Is Tax-Exempt - Diginomics

European Union Top Court Rules Bitcoin Exchange Is Tax-Exempt - Diginomics submitted by BitcoinAllBot to BitcoinAll [link] [comments]

The Court of Justice: Guaranteeing the Rights of EU Consumers Cryptocurrency News - India Supreme Court; Twitter Making BTC Mainstream; Latin America Soaring! EB37 – Thomas Spaas & Siân Jones: Is Bitcoin subject to VAT? (European consumer goods tax) Journal du Coin - YouTube Why Japan Arrests Foreigners - YouTube

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that bitcoin exchange transactions should be exempt from VAT. The ECJ ruling stated that bitcoin transactions "are exempt from VAT under the provision ... The European Court of Justice stated it saw no reason to treat Bitcoin differently transactions involving Fiat currency used as legal tender. The Court ruling was made clear following a complaint by a Swedish entrepreneur wanting to provide a service on a Bitcoin exchange which involved other traditional currencies. The Swedish entrepreneur wrote to the court arguing that the service should be ... The German constitutional court has ruled that the police and intelligence officials have too much access to people's personal mobile phone and internet data. A win for privacy activists, the ... On 22 October 2015, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) issued a judgment in response to a request from the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen) for clarification on the question whether transactions to exchange a traditional currency for the ‘Bitcoin’ virtual currency or vice versa were subject to value added tax (‘VAT’). European Court of Justice Set for Bitcoin VAT Decision A long-awaited court decision on whether bitcoin exchanges in Europe will be required to pay value-added tax (VAT) on trades is set to be ...

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The Court of Justice: Guaranteeing the Rights of EU Consumers

MY FIRST CRUISE!! Hey everyone! Thanks so much for watching this vlog about day 1 on my Royal Caribbean cruise through the Bahamas. Make sure you stay tuned ... The highest court in Europe has ordered Google to honor requests to be removed from search engine results. People may now ask the mega-corporation to delete search results in which they are listed. Evenprod est une société de production audiovisuelle, d'impression numérique et de sérigraphie. Nous réalisons des documentaires et des films publicitaires s... That’s where the Court of Justice of the European Union comes in. This short video explains how the Court has dealt with issues such as online shopping, premium-rate phone numbers and food ... Thomas Spaas, director of the Belgian Bitcoin Association and an international tax lawyer in Antwerp, and our regulatory affairs correspondent Siân Jones, join us to discuss a Swedish court case ...

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