Bitcoin, Ethereum, blockchain, cryptocurrency, token, exchange platform, added tax purposes and challenge the Hedqvist-decision of theEuropean Court of. Skatteverket v. Hedqvist.1 In this important decision the CJEU sheds light on the value added tax (VAT) aspects of the use of bitcoins. offer exchange services between bitcoin and traditional currencies (such as the Swedish It is easy to see how David Hedqvist's bitcoin exchange service. TD DIRECT INVESTING LOG IN
Before he did this he wanted clarity as to the VAT position of his new business. This led to the Swedish courts asking the European court for clarification. Unsurprisingly this decision confirms that an exchange of Bitcoin for a traditional currency is a supply of services. Relevance to other virtual currencies Whilst this decision is confined to the activities of a Bitcoin exchange, there seems to be no reason why it would not equally apply to other virtual currencies provided such currency has no purpose other than to be a means of payment.
There are differences in the relevant words in the VAT Directive between the different language versions. Given this linguistic uncertainty the court sought to interpret the words in the context it is used, and in light of the aims of the VAT Directive. It is worth noting that legal tender is a surprisingly narrow concept. For example, Scottish currency is not legal tender.
It would seem strange if Bitcoin were treated differently to Scottish pounds. Impact on location of Bitcoin exchange businesses The impact of this decision on Bitcoin exchanges will depend upon who their customers are. Where a Bitcoin exchange transacts with other businesses, the right to levy VAT belongs to the state in which the counterparty rather than the Bitcoin exchange belongs. Where Bitcoin exchanges transact with non-businesses for example, an individual , the state which has the right to impose VAT is where the Bitcoin exchange belongs.
This last phrase will no doubt come as a surprise to the many individuals and firms who have already made and lost small fortunes investing in Bitcoin , using it as a hedge against real currency fluctuations, and layering all kinds of for-profit products and services on top of the Bitcoin blockchain the latter being the underlying technological innovation that makes the whole thing work.
The same can be said of pretty much all other cryptocurrencies in use today. They can and do serve as means of payment, of course, but it does not therefore follow that their purposes and uses stop there. While it may be reasonable to regard Bitcoin as a type of currency even if from a technological standpoint it is not only that , it is quite plainly not legal tender. Neither Sweden nor any other country in the world yet accepts it as such. The AG had noted that although the German version requires all of the exchanged currencies to be legal tender in order to qualify under the exemption, the English version might allow for only one of them to be legal tender, the Finnish version might require only bank notes and coins but not currencies to be legal tender, and the Italian version might not care about the legal status of any of them.
It does not take a doctorate in EU law to recognize that when the Finnish translation is mentioned, we have entered the territory of purposive interpretation. On this basis, the Court held that Mr. Fair enough. The Court had little choice but to come up with a sensible way of applying the former to the latter.
The Bitcoin network can likewise function as a means of establishing title to all of the things mentioned in e. Nasdaq is using private blockchains to keep track of the assets traded on its private shares market.
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