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Spanish Crypto Adoption Increases, But Tax ‘Chaos’ Looms

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 min read
Source: Adobe/nito


Crypto adoption appears to be on the rise in Spain – but as tax season approaches, some have warned that failure to comply with the Treasury’s tax-related rulings could prove costly for newer and more seasoned Spanish crypto investors alike.

Adoption spike

A recent report from the Association for Media Research (AIMC), a group comprising media outlets, production companies, and digital agencies, claimed it had surveyed over 15,600 Spanish web users on their crypto-related activities.

The body announced that almost 13% of respondents stated that they owned tokens – a rise of some 50% on 2021 figures.

Almost 13% of those who said they owned crypto also said they had used tokens to make payments in the past 12 months, with six in ten transactions of that number being crypto purchases. Over a third of the crypto owners said they had sold coins in the past year.

However, as the survey was conducted online, the figures may not be truly representative of the general public.

Sporting success

The link between Spanish football and crypto adoption continues to intensify. FC Barcelona, whose board has reportedly rejected the idea of striking a shirt sponsorship deal with a number of crypto exchanges, remains crypto-keen.

El Financiero reported that the club’s President Joan Laporta had talked up the potential of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s biggest mobile phone conference, held annually in Barcelona.

MWC wrapped up earlier this month, but Laporta spoke of the club’s intention to launch a range of NFTs, as well as a cryptoasset (in addition to the club’s existing fan token). He claimed that blockchain technology could help add value to the club’s outreach to fans. Laporta claimed that the club wanted to become “innovators” in the blockchain and crypto spaces.

Tax wrinkles

It may not all be plain sailing for crypto adoption in Spain, however. As previously reported, in a controversial move, the Spanish parliament last year introduced a law that will require crypto holders to declare all of their token holdings – even if these are held on overseas platforms.

This will force crypto advocates to file the dreaded Modelo 720 “declaration of assets abroad.” But, as The Objective noted, “nobody” appears to understand just if and how they are supposed to declare their cryptoassets on the document. The media outlet remarked that “several law firms and tax specialists” had expressed doubts about exactly how tokens needed to be declared, adding that “the Ministry of Finance has not officially clarified the criteria to be applied” when making declarations.

One lawyer was quoted as stating:

“Taxpayers cannot declare cryptocurrencies if there is no section [on the form] to do so and, therefore, they cannot be penalized for it. Consequently, many will choose not to declare their assets.”

In many other regions, crypto is taxed at the point when it is sold for fiat. But the new law requires crypto HODLers to declare tokens – without specifying exactly how this should be done. Despite what the media outlet called “chaos” – with just two weeks left until the tax reporting deadline – the Treasury has threatened those failing to report their earnings with fines of USD 5,550 and upward.

Worries abound

These concerns appear to have spooked some crypto holders. Per Europa Press, a recent survey of crypto holders by the Spanish branch of the accountancy software provider TaxScouts found that 30% of those questioned answered that they “would stop investing in cryptocurrencies if the tax pressure on these assets increased.”

Over half confessed that they had not made any mention of their crypto holdings on the income statements they had submitted – hopeful, perhaps, that the taxman would not be able to track their crypto holdings.


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