- Spanish tax watchdog started issuing warnings for the country's crypto traders on April 1st.
- The tax authority is contacting over 66,000 crypto users, reminding them to pay their taxes.
- Not giving up on taxes may be the country's attempt to gather funds to fight coronavirus outbreak.
Two days ago, on April 1st, the Spanish tax authority, the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), started issuing warnings to crypto traders. According to Europa Press, there are around 66,000 crypto holders that the agency will address. They are all currently receiving warning notices, reminding them of their tax obligations.
The letters will supposedly continue to arrive until June 30th. The number of notices saw a sharp increase from last year. In 2019, the agency sent only around 14,700 notices. The watchdog will also issue warnings from real estate investors, as well as those who earn income abroad.
No postponing taxes in Spain
Javier Pastor, the chief sales officer of a crypto exchange Bit2me, commented on the move. He stated that this might be the governent’s way of trying to obtain income during the coronavirus crisis.
Spain is one of the countries that were hit extremely strongly by the virus outbreak. As such, the government likely needs all the help it can get in obtaining income. This is necessary in order to deal with the huge costs of handling the current situation.
Pastor also noticed that the government decided not to postpone the filing of tax returns, despite the pandemic. He seems certain that the measure will not affect the exchange, even though the KYC and similar rules are much stricter. He said,
“I think they [tax watchdog] are only scaring the novice user by applying such measures, plus I don’t think they are going to collect much tax revenue from the cryptocurrency sector because they are not even regulated in our country.“
While this is true, there is also the fact that the tax authorities of Spain developed quite an interest in crypto over the last several years. Since then, the authorities have taken a series of steps to oversee tax obligations directly.
Spain has spent years collecting crypto users’ data
The tax authority started making its move in 2018, when it requested customer data from 60 crypto firms. This included exchanges, as well as companies that only accepted crypto as a payment method. The authorities also demanded that these businesses verify their crypto users’ identities. Other than that, they requested other important details, such as how often transactions take place, and alike.
Clearly, the agency has been hoarding data in order to accurately calculate how many crypto users there are, and how much they earn and spend.