Russia: No special tax treatment for crypto owners and miners

July 20, 2018
Chris Wheal

Russia has no immediate plans for any segregated tax infrastructure to address cryptocurrencies and its community of investors, holders and miners will be regulated under common framework of the Internal Revenue Code of Russia, according to local newspaper Izvestiya.

Russia State Duma

Russia’s State Duma: Shutterstock

The paper published an interview with Anatoly Aksakov, head of the financial markets committee at the State Duma [the Russian lower house of the Federal Assembly], who said there are currently no plans to draw up “separate” tax frameworks specifically for cryptocurrency.

No change, for now

A wide-ranging package of regulations focusing on “digital financial assets” is likely to become law during the Duma’s autumn session, he added. “Separate tax regimes for owners of digital currency will not be described in the regulation text,” although a separate set of regulations might be developed at some future date.

“If they feel like creating separate states for this type of business, then they’ll create them,” Aksakov told Izvestiya. “For now, we’re not going to deal with issues in any form.”

Cryptocurrency mining and exchange will therefore come under the jurisdiction of current taxation statutes. Proponents of new regulations had originally planned for them to become law by 1 July, in line with Russia’s increasingly hands-on approach tom cryptocurrencies in recent months.

Last year, president Vladimir Putin indicated to several authorities, including the Bank of Russia, that he wanted them to frame legislation that addressed initial coin offerings [ICOs] by this month.

A grey area

The lawmakers have also attempted to provide clarification on cryptocurrency mining and exchange, both of which exist in a grey area in Russia. While a number of informal exchangers offer ample opportunity to convert between Bitcoin, Ethereum and fiat rubles, these often take the form of semi-anonymous account funding.

In May this year, the State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work said that it would support an initiative to form regulations for a digital economy in Russia’s Federation Civil Code. The authority wants to “minimise the existing risks of using digital objects for transferring assets into an unregulated digital environment for the legalisation of criminal incomes, bankruptcy fraud or for sponsoring terrorist groups”.

Cryptocurrency ATMs

St Petersburg’s experiment with cryptocurrency ATMs was short-lived: Shutterstock

Meanwhile local governments have adopted a hardline stance, only to arbitrarily reverse decisions. These include a blanket ban on disseminating information about cryptocurrency, which St Petersburg authorities enacted last year. The city also briefly hosted several cryptocurrency ATMs, but abruptly disappeared only a few months after being installed.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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