G20: Global tax standards as of 2020

Over the past few days, the finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 met for discussion in Argentina. One of the topics discussed was the regulation of Bitcoin & Co. Result: Crypto currencies are dangerous and interesting, global standards will come. Data will be collected by July.

Bitcoin enthusiasts expected the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires to be partly restless. The imminent regulation or the possibility of banning crypto currencies is causing panic in the markets again and again. Now all the FUDlers can breathe a sigh of relief. As the summary of the meeting shows, the finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 countries do not really know how to deal with crypto currencies.

The words they found for Bitcoin & cryptosoft fluctuated between warning and slight enthusiasm

“We recognise that cryptosoft innovation […] has the potential to enhance the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system and the economy. But cryptosoft assets also raise questions about consumer and investor security, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.”

What is particularly striking about the closing statement is the choice of words. The team of experts deliberately calls Bitcoin & Co. “crypto-assets”. The English word for capital or asset indicates that one is not dealing with currencies. In a further statement, they also stress that crypto currencies do not fulfil the functions of “sovereign currencies”.

International standards for crypto trader will not come until 2020

The financial experts ultimately shift responsibility to the FATF. The Financial Action Task Force has rules to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. These should ultimately also apply to Bitcoin & crypto trader – together they want to work on further standards. This should result in a globally valid regulation – which, however, remains to be seen for the time being. Why regulation can make sense with regard to crypto trader can be read here.

Until final regulations are reached, the market will probably be allowed to develop more or less freely for the time being (the outcome of the conference does not ultimately protect against national regulations). In the last sections of their summary, finance ministers and bankers announce that there will be no global tax standards before 2020. However, an update will be released in 2019, with data to be collected by July of this year in order to agree more precisely on how best to regulate.

As it became known, the OSCE also made a statement to the ministers and central bankers in this context. The statement also calls for a joint initiative in common taxation, especially with regard to crypto currencies. See below for more details.

During the conference, in addition to the participating ministers and central bankers, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) also promoted joint taxation and further co-operation in the field of crypto currencies. In a report sent to the participants in the Confrence, the OSCE suggested further co-operation and development in the face of increasing importance and lack of transparency.

In concrete terms, the report states that tools and co-operation mechanisms are already being developed and that corresponding studies are being conducted on the tax consequences of crypto currencies and distributed ledger technologies. The latter could be used to overcome the lack of tax transparency.