Spain’s Tax Watch: Citizens Must Report Overseas Crypto Assets by March 31

With growing efforts to regulate the taxation of virtual assets around the world, Spain has introduced new laws requiring residents holding crypto assets on non-Spanish platforms to declare them by March 31, 2024.

The Spanish Tax Administration Agency – Agencia Tributaria – unveiled form 721, a dedicated tax declaration form for virtual assets held abroad.

Spanish Tax Authorities Set Threshold of $55K

The latest announcement, made in the official state gazette on July 29, 2023, mandates the submission period for form 721 declarations from Jan. 1 to the end of March 2024. Both individual and corporate taxpayers are required to disclose the amount of funds stored in their foreign crypto accounts as of Dec. 31, 2023.

Notably, only individuals with crypto balances exceeding 50,000 euros (approximately $55,000) are required to declare their foreign holdings. On the other hand, crypto holders using self-custodied wallets must report through the standard wealth tax form 714.

The development comes seven months after reports emerged that the Spanish Tax Administration Agency intended to issue 328,000 warning notices to taxpayers in 2022. This marked a 40% increase from 2021, indicating a growing focus on enforcing tax compliance in the crypto sector, with 150,000 warnings issued in 2022 compared to 15,000 in 2021.

Meanwhile, Spain’s oldest law enforcement agency  – Guardia Civil – reportedly busted a criminal group in August that was responsible for a massive crypto scam, defrauding over 3,000 people worldwide and embezzling nearly $110 million.

Despite increased regulatory scrutiny on the crypto industry in Spain, major exchanges continue to expand in the region. For instance, earlier this year, Crypto.com secured a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) registration from the country’s central bank in June, signaling a continued interest and presence of prominent crypto platforms in the Southwestern European nation.

International Push for Tax Compliance

Apart from Span, several governments across the world have ramped up efforts to combat the potential underreporting of taxable dealings in the sector. The US’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS) first started issuing letters to taxpayers with crypto transactions in July 2019, aiming to enhance awareness of tax obligations and rectify past errors.

Initially, 10,000 notices were planned to be sent by August 2019. The IRS obtained information on tax noncompliance through various means, including John Doe summonses against Coinbase in 2016 and Kraken in 2021.

In 2020, additional letters were sent, and apart from educational notices, the IRS issued Notice CP2000, specifying the alleged amount owed to the IRS.

More recently, 48 countries issued a joint statement of “global commitment” to combat offshore crypto tax evasion. The UK-led Crypto-Asset Reporting Framework (CARF) was positioned as the OECD’s new tax transparency standard earlier this month, which requires crypto platforms to share taxpayer information with tax authorities, enhancing global enforcement.

Effective in 2027, it addresses the current lack of information exchange, ensuring international collaboration for tax compliance.

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2023-11-29 01:52