As part of a new taxation law introduced in October by Spain’s Council of Ministers, which requires private citizens to declare their cryptocurrency holdings, some 15,000 individuals have now been targeted.
The new tax model centered on private cryptocurrency investors carries stiff penalties of up to EUR 5,000 (USD 5,740) for inaccurate tax returns. The 1,500 names held by the Spanish Ministry of Finance are of individuals who have conducted cryptocurrency transactions over the past year, according to Spanish paper El Pais.
As Bitcoin News noted when the original legislation was passed for tax reform, the move came as a notable shift in direction since the ousting of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who was on the point of pushing forward legislation for possible tax breaks in order to create a more favorable environment for potential blockchain investment.
Spain’s National Fraud Investigation Office has now opened investigations into banks, financial companies and other organizations who conduct crypto transactions. The group of around 15,000 individuals has now been added to this list for further inspection.
Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT) is targeting new technologies as part of its fiscal tax plan which includes “blockchain and, especially, cryptocurrencies” to combat both tax evasion and fraud. AEAT have put out the following statement outlining its intended activities:
“The use of cryptocurrencies, such as [Bitcoin], as payment means, is one of the most demanding challenges today. In order to face this threat, the use by the tax agency’s research units of the new information collection and analysis technologies in all types of networks will be enhanced.”
Spanish authorities have indicated that the small group may not be the limitation of its inquiries as it expects to broaden the field in the future if clear evidence of tax evasion is revealed en masse. However, the tax authorities have said that the main focus will be on those citizens who have failed to declare capital gains or those involved in money laundering activities.
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