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Regulation

Crypto Income In New Zealand Is Legal And Taxable

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Crypto income in New Zealand is now legal and taxable according to the tax authorities which ruled the new legislation since new guidance was provided on how they should be taxed as we are reading in today’s coming altcoin news.

In a tax information bulletin that was published on July 4, the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department, we can read the summarized provisions of the public ruling which was made under s91D of the country’s Tax Administration Act 1994. The new guidance on crypto income tax applies to payments in crypto that form a piece of an employee’s regular salary and is fixed at a predetermined amount rather than payments that form part of an employee share scheme. Also, it will apply to salaries and wage earners but not to the self-employed taxpayers covering both the services and bonuses and remuneration, commissions and gratuities. For a crypto salary to be taxable, the ruling determines that the crypto asset paid to the employees cannot be a subject to lock-up period and have to convertible into fiat:

 “In the current environment where crypto-assets are not readily accepted as payment for goods and services, the Commissioner’s view is that crypto-assets that cannot be converted directly into fiat currency on an exchange […] are not sufficiently “money-like” to be considered salary or wages.”

Assets such as cryptocurrencies are further defined as assets that provide general peer-to-peer payment system rather than assets that operate in a similar way to vouchers, debt securities, and shares. For the wage to be taxable, the authorities deem that a significant purpose of the crypto asset in question has to be that it operates as a currency or is otherwise pegged to one or more fiat currencies. As explained in the latest cryptocurrency news, the tax authorities and lawmakers are focusing more on cryptocurrencies now clarifying which provisions will they fall under and attempting to tighten their bid on evasion.

Just last week, a crypto industry source claimed that the United Kingdom tax authority has started requesting digital currency exchanges to provide information about customers’ names, transaction details, transaction histories all in order to make sure that they prevent tax evasion.

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Regulation

No Demand For A Central Cryptocurrency In Japan: Central Bank Governor

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Aside from the news that the largest bank in Japan recently denied the claims of releasing a digital currency, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda is in the news now, stating that there is no demand for a central digital currency (CBDC) by the public in the country.Kuroda had a speech at the symposium for the 35th anniversary of the Center for Financial Industry Information Systems on December 4, where he addressed the challenges posed by private global stablecoins as well as CBDCs. He also concluded that at present, there is no reason and no demand to issue a CBDC in Japan, stating:
“In Japan, the amount of cash outstanding is still increasing, and it does not seem that there is a demand for CBDC from the public at present. Nevertheless, the Bank of Japan has been conducting technical and legal research on this matter in order to stand ready when the need for CBDC 13 may arise in the future. The Bank also needs to study the impact of CBDCs on financial intermediation.”
Even though the central bank governor does not right now see a valid reason to issue its own digital currency, he admitted that “there is a wide variety of private digital money denominated in Japanese yen.” This is how the bank encourages the use of digital currencies and their improvement, aiming to make their features even closer to what is expected from a central bank issued cryptocurrency (CBDC).When it comes to global stablecoins such as Facebook's Libra, Kuroda did not say anything about no demand - and said that the bank would take a more cautious approach.
“Global stablecoins (GSCs), such as Libra, may offer convenient payment services to many users, if legal certainty and technical stability are ensured. However, users cannot continuously appreciate the benefits of GSCs unless various challenges and risks related to money-laundering, cyber-security, data protection, and consumer and investor protection are properly addressed,” he noted.
While Kuroda is the cryptonews today saying that there is no demand about a CBDC in Japan, countries all over the world are increasingly researching their public and private digital currencies and stablecoins.
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Regulation

SoFi Obtains BitLicense For Crypto Trading Services In New York

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The California based financial firm SoFi has recently acquired a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYFDS) as the regulator announced in an official statement on December 3. Now that SoFi obtains a BitLicense, the company is one of the 24 cryptocurrency-related businesses which are legal to operate in the state.According to reports found on Bloomberg Law, there are 24 businesses that obtained such licenses since 2015. Specifically, SoFi is one of them - but the firm has acquired two licenses - one of which is a virtual currency license (BitLicense) and the other is a money transmitter license. The latter will allow SoFi Digital Assets to offer crypto trading services to its New York customers.As the announcement shows, SoFi obtains a license which makes it authorized to support a total of six digital assets which include Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC) as well as Stellar (XLM).The cryptocurrency news also show that the Superintendent of the NYFDS Linda Lacewell noted that the authority is committed to fostering innovation in the New York's crypto ecosystem. She stated:
"The Department's approval of SoFi's virtual currency and money transmitter licenses provides consumers with more choices in a continuously evolving global financial services marketplace."
Now that SoFi obtains a BitLicense, the firm can start offering its services legally. The excitement was shared by the entire team and the CEO of SoFi Anthony Noto who said that this decision was a response to client demand:
 "Putting our members' interests first is our top priority at SoFi [...] That includes both offering individuals the products they want, like cryptocurrency within SoFi Invest, as well as protecting them, through a solid regulatory framework like that created by the NYDFS.”
For those of you who do not follow our Bitcoin news, a BitLicense is a major business license for cryptocurrencies with a number of terms and conditions including rules on operating with digital currencies, administration, control, maintenance, storing and issuing them. Earlier this year and before this news, NYDFS granted such licenses to two subsidiaries of crypto derivatives firm Seed CX - Seed Digital Commodities Market LLC and Zero Hash LLC.
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Regulation

South African Central Bank Will Impose New Crypto Regulations Soon

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The South African Central Bank, known as the Reserve Bank (SARB), is apparently going to impose new regulations for digital currencies and their use. This comes in an attempt to deter users from skipping currency controls.The cryptonews first emerged from the local business oriented publication named Business Report which showed that on December 2, the SARB deputy governor Kuben Naidoo said that the new rules will be implemented in the first quarter of 2020, following a five year long series of consultations on this matter.According to the statements from Naidoo, this follows a decision of FirstRand Bank which is one of the largest financial institutions in South Africa - ordered to discontinue providing banking services to digital currency exchanges in late November. At the time, FNB reportedly blamed regulatory uncertainty for the move.As the South African Central Bank is ready to impose new regulations, the blockchain and crypto communities have already responded to the idea of further controls on crypto. According to the South African blockchain development community SA Crypto, the stance is as following:
“The implications of the Sarb clamping down on cryptocurrency use for the purpose of stricter capital controls are far-reaching and alarming.”
Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies have proved to be very popular in South Africa. Reports showed that 10.7% of the country residents owned crypto which is the highest in any country surveyed. The South African rand's currency volatility, on the other hand, prompted consumers to seek protection for their money.In addition to this, we can see that cross border payments are a contributing factor of crypto popularity in the country, especially knowing how remittances are often sent from countries like South Africa to 15 other countries on the continent in something known as the Southern African Development Community.Meanwhile, members of BRICS (which include South Africa) discussed the creation of a new cryptocurrency in mid-November this year. At the event, it was said that:
“An efficiently operating BRICS payment system is capable of stimulating settlements in national currencies and ensuring the stability of settlements and investments between our countries, which form more than 20% of the global influx of foreign direct investment.”
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Altcoin News

Anatoly Aksakov: Russia Can Forbid Crypto But It Will Be Very Hard

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 The Russian Federation may forbid the payment with crypto for goods and services, but succeeding in that goal might be quite difficult according to Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market as we are reading further in the crypto news below. It was told to the local media, by Anatoly Aksakov, that the enforcement of the use of cryptocurrency for payments is problematic from the practical viewpoint. The official commented:
“In the draft law on [digital financial assets], these instruments (cryptocurrencies) were prohibited. Accordingly, other bills were being prepared in parallel; [they] were aimed at introducing responsibility for conducting cryptocurrency trading on the territory of the Russian Federation. While all this is being negotiated for quite a while, law enforcement is challenging. Maybe this is one of the reasons that so far these bills have not been agreed upon.”
The official pointed out that though it is not easy to enforce the prohibition in the Russian Federation, nonetheless it can be utilized in the case of conscientious citizens. Whilst, the ones who are all in with cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly continue to use them beside the prohibition.Aksakov also said that the enforcement of such prohibition is hindered by the absence of a clear legal definition of the term cryptocurrency. He said:
“Money substitutes are banned in Russia. So far, there is no clear definition yet that cryptocurrency is a money substitute. The ruble is the only means of payment, but [another fiat] currencies are used as well. Therefore, all these issues require a legal definition so that law enforcement agencies could do their work more conveniently. Is it a money substitute? Or is it a digital currency?”
Naming money laundering risks and other issues, the Bank of Russia has spoken against the legalization of cryptocurrencies. The only legal tender on the territory of the Russian Federation is the Russian Ruble, said the bank’s press service to the local media. The Bank of Russia has another aspect that she doesn't appreciate the high volatility. Whilst the government of the Russian Federation still makes a comparison between the pros and cons of crypto, the Bank of Russia would probably prohibit crypto operations in the same respect as China did in 2017.
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