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Russian Tax Authority Proposes Crypto Use as a Foreign Trade Payment Tool

News
Russian Tax Authority Proposes Crypto Use as a Foreign Trade Payment Tool

According to a report published by Izvestia, Russia’s Federal Tax Service (FTS) gave its feedback on the draft of a crypto bill submitted by the Finance Ministry. The tax agency proposed allowing companies to use cryptocurrencies for certain operations: “To let corporate entities pay for goods and services according to foreign trade contracts and receive revenue from foreign entities in digital currency.”

A Change for the Better

The proposed framework for digital currencies could potentially change the spirit of its original intent, as it excludes the possibility of using cryptocurrencies as a payment method. According to Izvestia, the current draft has a clause where the crypto ban in payment applies to all cases that the law does not specify anything else. 

The TFS is intended to help address the various legalese in the bill. One of the provisions in the bill that prevents people from using bitcoin for payment is a reservation that states that the ban is valid unless otherwise provided by law.

If the bill is passed, then the exclusion of bitcoin from the ban could be granted within the parameters set. This move would be a step in the right direction and allow businesses to accept digital currency payments.

War and Sanctions are Leading to Wider Spread of Crypto Assets

The International Monetary Fund acknowledges that folks can still use the crypto ecosystem to evade certain restrictions. However, it warns that the freezing of crypto assets and blocking of new deposits could have affected the transactions.

The rapid emergence and widespread use of digital currencies in Ukraine and Russia amid the law will require policymakers to address various issues in the coming years. Hence, raising concerns about the global financial system’s resilience.

Russia is currently trying to figure out a work-around for these digital assets. The FTS proposal also touches on reserving a portion of the country’s payment options for companies operating in international trade. The proposed regulations also require companies to establish and operate regulated digital currency exchanges and wallets.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance stated that the issue needs more discussion in response to the proposal.

On Digital Currency Bill

In January, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for a more civil discourse regarding the use of bitcoin and the various controversies surrounding it. He noted that Russia’s energy surplus gives it a competitive advantage in mining cryptocurrency.

The draft of the “On Digital Currency” bill was finalized on April 8. It prohibits the use of digital currencies in the country. According to the Ministry of Finance, digital currencies as a payment method in Russia will not be allowed and remain prohibited as they are only an “investment vehicle.”

Due to the intense battle between regulators and legislators, the bill’s outcome is still unclear. However, statements from various government officials and prominent individuals such as Vladimir Putin are expected to affect the bill’s outcome positively.

Russia Banks Suggest Criminal Liability

Due to the increasing number of cases involving the seizure of crypto assets, the Association of Banks of Russia suggested criminal liability for storing digital currencies in non-custodial wallets.

Initially, the proposal was to criminalize the unauthorized storage of digital currencies in non-custodial wallets. However, the association is now considering targeting those who refuse to provide the necessary keys to authorized parties.

The association clarified that it does not mean crypto exchanges control the digital assets in non-custodial wallets. Instead, it refers to platforms that provide these services. The bankers’ proposal would help create a closed circuit for the movement of cryptocurrencies in Russia. It would require the effective foreclosure of non-custodial digital assets.