As part of the effort to tackle financial crime, Spanish crypto holders could be forced to disclose their crypto holdings and gains made from these assets. Government officials are working on a bill to legalize this process.
The attempt by the government to capture Spanish crypto holders’ assets comes on the heels of a rise in cybercrime globally. Spanish government officials now wants to focus on the crypto industry.
Maria Jesus Montero, the government’s spokesperson, said that the bill is also designed to nab tax evaders and prevent tax fraud. Furthermore, Spain is working on full information collection towards complying with the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5).
The EU law mandates that crypto firms and asset custodians keep information about their customers and their transactions. By collecting information from these service providers directly, the government hopes to ensure that it keeps a tight leash on its crypto industry.
Spanish Crypto Holders in the Crosshairs
In 2018, the Ministry of Finance in Spain tried to tighten regulations around Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. At the time. the objective was for Spanish crypto holders and industry-related firms to declare their operations to the Tax Agency. This equally applied to Spanish citizens living abroad.
The Ministry stated it was mandatory for people and companies inform the Tax Agency about this operation.
However, Spain would not be the only country asking citizens for more information about their crypto earnings. In September, New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) asked local businesses to disclose information about their customers’ cryptocurrency holdings.
It was part of the IRD’s way of getting a better overview of the cryptocurrency space in the country. Furthermore, it would allow them to develop a progressive tax framework for these assets. The move was criticized by many in the country’s cryptocurrency community, and eventually abandoned.
A Government Policy is Always Controversial
Primarily, everything involving cryptocurrencies has an allure of being private. As such, any demand to make cryptocurrency earnings public is against the “core beliefs” of cryptocurrency holders.
Janine Grainger, co-founder of New Zealand firm Easy Crypto, said that the industry has always focused on privacy. Government demands are often vague and leave room for interpretation, according to Grainger.
In her opinion, the point of privacy is not to hide something the government seemingly expects to uncover. The private nature of these assets ensures a fair, open, and free society. However, despite these conflicting opinions, cryptocurrency holders have to comply with the law. How all of this will be enforced, if ever, is a different matter