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Venezuelan Authorities Clamp Down on Off-The-Books Crypto Pay Vendors

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Customers spending foreign currency and cryptoassets in Venezuelan stores have been warned to demand invoices and receipts in fiat bolivars, with the nation’s tax authorities worried that crypto pay and payment in overseas fiats like the USD or euros could facilitate tax evasion.

Venezuelan tax agents on the prowl. Source: Twitter/@jdavidcabello

Merchants across the country have increasingly moved to abandon the sovereign bolivar, which has experienced ballooning inflation as the country’s economy continues to suffer in the wake of intensifying Washington-led sanctions and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

But Jose David Cabello Rondon, the Superintendent of the National Integrated Tax and Customs Administration (known locally as SENIAT), has taken to Twitter to remind customers that failure to demand bolivar invoices or receipts could help abet tax evasion efforts on the part of unscrupulous merchants. The authority believes that many merchants are using the legality of crypto pay and foreign currency pay programs to keep transactions off their books.

Cabello tweeted,

“Demand a legal invoice in bolivars for any purchase you make, even if you are paying in foreign currency or cryptoassets.”

He also posted an image with a caption that read,

“Do not collaborate with [tax] evaders! Demand a receipt!”

And Cabello added in a separate tweet, that on-the-spot inspections were already in place, using undercover investigators in some cases, making sure that vendors issued legal receipts for sales and were not shirking their obligations to help make “social investments” for the betterment of the country.

Venezuelan tax agents in a shop. Source: Twitter/@jdavidcabello

Learn more:
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Bitcoin Mining Legalized in Venezuela, Miners Must Join ‘National Pool’