Latvia May Impose 20% Capital Gains Tax On Cryptocurrency Transactions

  • The Latvian government is reportedly looking into charging a 20% capital gains tax on cryptocurrencies.
  • Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren't legal tender in the country, and special legislation may apply.

Latvian authorities may impose capital gains tax on cryptocurrency transactions, according to a Finance Ministry official. The move would see Latvia cash in on the crypto craze that’s already seeing transaction volumes in the country surge.

According to news outlet Xinhua, the director of the country’s Finance Ministry’s Department of Direct Taxes, Astra Kalane, revealed on public radio that “cryptocurrency transactions are very similar to capital gains.” This, the outlet added, is the reason the country’s Finance Ministry is looking to charge this tax on cryptocurrency transactions.

Latvia currently levies a 20 percent capital gains tax, and applying it to crypto would reportedly need the country’s taxation laws to be amended. Xinhua added:

“A possible regulation for crypto currencies was also discussed in the Latvian parliament on Wednesday, as representatives of the national financial regulator, the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC), reported to the parliament budget and finance (taxation) committee on the situation with crypto currencies in Latvia.”

Xinhua

Regulators noted that investing in cryptocurrencies is extremely risky, and that these aren’t recognized as legal tender in the country. It seemingly is legal to trade, hold, buy and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in the country. The Latvian government  has so far “taken no responsibility for people using crypto currencies,” as people invest as their own risk.

Experts have also revealed that cryptocurrencies may see special regulations in the country, so as to comply with the country’s penal and anti-terrorism legislation. The Latvian government reportedly set up a workgroup that’s set to reveal legislative proposals in July.

The fintech sector is still in its infancy in the region, so the government is likely going to start catering to cryptocurrency startups, a move already made by other neighboring countries, such as Belarus.

Other countries are apparently just looking to cash in. Bulgaria, for example, has imposed a 10 percent capital gains tax on cryptocurrencies, although the country has no official stance towards cryptos.

U.S. Government Issues Warning Over Nazis Using Bitcoin

Michael LaVere
  • A US House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday debated the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
  • Officials warned that white supremacists and domestic terror groups have already begun using bitcoin.

The United States House Financial Services Committee has issued a warning after concluding that Nazis and other domestic terrorists are using bitcoin and crypto to support their activities. 

In a hearing held Jan. 15, members of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee addressed the issue of cryptocurrency and its role in funding domestic terrorism. 

Congressman Brad Sherman of California (D) claimed that white supremacists were using bitcoin.

He said, 

If it works for Hamas, it will work for the Nazis, too.

Jared Maples, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director, said domestic terror groups would likely increase their use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the years to come. Congressional Research Service finance expert Rena Miller and Anti-Defamation League Senior Vice President George Selim supported Maples claim, predicting that the rise in popularity for bitcoin would contribute to its illicit use. 

According to the report, Selim noted that neo-Nazi “troll” Andrew Auernheimer has already received great sums of money in donated bitcoin. 

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