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Germany Won – t Tax You for Buying Coffee With Bitcoin

Germany won’t tax bitcoin users for using the cryptocurrency spil a means of payment, the Ministry of Finance has said.

The guidance, published Tuesday, sets Germany speciaal from the U.S., where the Internal Revenue Service treats bitcoin spil property for tax purposes – which means that if an American buys a cup of coffee with bitcoin, it’s technically considered a sale of property and potentially subject to capital gains tax.

Instead, Germany will regard bitcoin spil the omschrijving to legal tender for tax purposes when used spil a means of payment, according to a fresh document.

The Bundesministerium der Finanzen based its guidance on a 2015 European Union Court of Justice ruling on value added taxes (VAT).

The court ruling creates a precedent for European Union nations to tax bitcoin while providing exemptions for certain types of transactions.

Notably, the fresh German document justified its tax decisions by regarding cryptocurrencies a legal method for payment, stating:

“Virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies, e.g., Bitcoin) become the omschrijving to legal means of payment, insofar spil thesis so-called virtual currencies of those involved te the transaction spil an alternative contractual and instantaneous means of payment have bot accepted.”

For tax purposes, this means that converting bitcoin into a fiat currency or vice versa is “a taxable miscellaneous benefit.” When a buyer of goods pays with bitcoin, an article of the EU’s VAT Directive will be applied to the price of bitcoin at the time of the transaction, spil documented by the seller, according to the document.

However, spil vanaf the EU ruling, the actual act of converting a cryptocurrency to fiat or vice versa is classified spil a “supply of services,” and therefore a party acting spil an intermediary for the exchange will not be taxed.

Payment fees sent to digital wallet providers or other services can likewise also be taxed, according to the document.

Other aspects of the cryptocurrency ecosystem will not be taxed. Miners who receive block prizes will not be taxed, spil their services are considered to be voluntary, according to the document.

Similarly, exchange operators that buy or sell bitcoin ter their own name spil an intermediary will receive a tax exemption, tho’ an exchange operating spil a technical marketplace will not receive any such exemption.

Editor’s note: Statements ter this article were translated from German.

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