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Russian Finance Ministry, Central Bank at Loggerheads over Crypto Tax – Report

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

The Russian Ministry of Finance and the nation’s Central Bank are still at odds over crypto tax laws, per a local media report.

Source: Adobe/frag

According to Interfax, an anonymous “source familiar with the talks” between the two parties, who must forge the nation’s crypto policy, “cannot agree” on a number of key points.

Chief among these is the role of tax officials, which the ministry wants to be allowed unfettered access to citizens’ bank account data in a quest to find and punish citizens who fail to declare their crypto earnings on tax declarations.

But the source reportedly said that the Central Bank, which remains deeply skeptical about all crypto-related matters, has emerged as an unlikely champion for crypto traders in this instance. The source claimed that the Central Bank opposes giving tax authorities the right to freely request information from commercial banks about transactions conducted using cryptoassets.

The move would be “outside the framework of existing tax audits,” the bank reportedly said.

The news agency claimed it had seen a document with responses from both the ministry and the bank, confirming their stances.

The Ministry of Finance, though, calls the measures part of a “risk-based approach,” that will help avoid crypto-powered “tax evasion” – and said it would help take the burden off banks, that would otherwise be obliged to audit the data from customers themselves to check for possible tax evasion instances.

The parties are still locked in talks over changes to a bill that would seek to begin crypto taxation from 2022, with heavy proposed punishments – including jail time – for individuals who fail to declare their crypto trading profits and pay tax on them.

The bill passed its first reading in the State Duma, but there is disagreement about a number of matters ahead of the second reading.

The ministry wants a clause inserted that specifies that tax agents can – in effect – access data on any Russian citizen with a bank account if there is evidence that the said individual has been trading in crypto.

The Central Bank, however, wants the clause left out of the bill, claiming that “existing powers” should suffice for tax bodies.
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