Polish Politicians and Bitcoin Enthusiasts Clash Online over Crypto Tax

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The Polish government has come under fire for introducing coronavirus-mitigating legislation that includes suspending a new 1% civil law transactions tax (PCC) on crypto purchases and sales.

Source: Adobe/Marcin Chodorowski

A number of opposition politicians have criticized the government, claiming there are other groups besides crypto traders that are currently in need of more urgent support.

Per article 23 of the new law, which was recently passed by the Sejm, the lower chamber of the Polish parliament, the sale and purchase of cryptoasset is set to be added to the list of transactions that can benefit from PCC tax exemption.

Pre-coronavirus legislation had stipulated that crypto transaction exclusion would be lifted as of June 30, but the latest legislative move would see that exemption extended at least until the virus pandemic has eased.

The new law will become effective if it is passed by the Senate, the upper chamber of the Polish parliament and then signed by the president.

However, it appears that the backlash has already begun.

Adrian Zandberg, a lawmaker from the opposition Lewica (Left) parliamentary group, comprising the Democratic Left Alliance, the Wiosna and the Razem parties, took to Twitter to complain,

“The government has gone ahead with massive lay-offs and pay cuts in the public sector, but it has taken care of… bitcoin owners.”

The lawmaker’s stance was criticized by a number of crypto industry insiders who say that, as many of the country’s institutions are in lockdown due to the outbreak, it would be unreasonable to expect crypto traders to start paying a new tax.

In a tweet of his own Professor Krzysztof Piech, the director of the Blockchain Technology Centre at Lazarski University in Warsaw, wrote

“If you tried to print out several hundred PCC tax declarations, you would end up with protests in front of the Ministry of Finance.”

Another user praised the legislative initiative, tweeting that nowadays it made more sense to “take care of bitcoin owners than coal mine owners.

He added,

“It’s time for you to wake up. We are not living in medieval times anymore. Bet on the development of Polish fintech and the blockchain industry.”

With 49 MPs, the Left is the third-largest parliamentary collective in the Sejm, behind the ruling Law and Justice Party and the opposition Civic Coalition.