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Facebook removed hundreds of pages on Thursday it said posed as independent news sites in eastern Europe and elsewhere but were actually run by employees at Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik.
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Danish tax authorities will soon be going after cryptocurrency traders in the country and beyond. The plan is to collect data from local bitcoin exchanges in order to verify if citizens who have traded digital assets have paid the right taxes. Information about foreign citizens and entities will be shared with other countries.
Tax Agency Authorized to Gather Data From Three Danish Exchanges
Skattestyrelsen, the Danish Tax Agency, announced it has been authorized by the country’s Tax Council, Skatterådet, to obtain information about cryptocurrency trade conducted on three Danish exchanges between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2018. The authority noted that it’s the first time it will access this kind of data. Karin Bergen, the agency’s director responsible for personal income tax collection, said:
With the permission of the Danish Tax Council, we will for the first time gain access to the trades made via Danish exchanges. This gives us new opportunities with respect to exerting control in the field.
The three platforms must now provide information about all purchases and sales of cryptocurrency made by their customers during the two-year period. They will be obliged to include identification information such as names, addresses, and CPR numbers, the personal ID numbers issued by the Danish Civil Registration System.
The decision to permit the Danish Tax Agency to collect the data was taken at the last meeting of the Tax Council in December. It followed news that the agency has been informed by Finland’s tax authorities about Danish citizens trading cryptocurrencies on a Finnish bitcoin exchange. The Danish tax body also plans to share information about crypto transactions made by foreign citizens and companies in Denmark with tax authorities in the respective countries.
Big Market That Needs to Be Looked Into
Skattestyrelsen is now contacting the Danish crypto exchanges in order to establish a procedure for the disclosure of the information. Once the data is received, the Tax Agency will ensure that citizens who have traded cryptocurrency have paid their taxes. Bergen further commented:
Without going too far, I think one can say this is a big market that we need to look into. When we recently received information from the Finnish bitcoin exchange, it gave us a small portion of the larger picture, which we now have the opportunity to uncover even more of. However, it’s still too early to tell how many traders are out there and how much money has been traded.
The Danish tax authority will adjust the tax base for each trader before the summer. Every case will be reviewed and treated individually to determine whether a cryptocurrency trade is part of the taxable income.
In December, the Tax Agency was tipped off by Finnish tax authorities about around 2,700 Danes trading on a cryptocurrency exchange based in Finland. According to the official estimate, the Danish citizens have traded coins worth more than 100 million krones (~$ 15 million) between 2015 and 2017.
Last month, the authority quoted a survey conducted by the National Tax Board which found that 450,000 Danes are considering shopping with cryptocurrency. The agency launched a campaign to inform taxpayers about their obligations but also the deductions they are entitled to.
What do you think about Danish tax authorities collecting information from crypto exchanges? Share your thoughts on the subject of crypto taxation in the comments section below.
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Canada’s electoral body has started consultations on how political parties should handle cryptocurrency donations ahead of general elections slated for October. Political parties have requested guidance from Elections Canada (EC) on accepting contributions and conducting other transactions in bitcoin. EC has now released a draft note that broadly takes the position that cryptocurrency donations are non-monetary, in-kind contributions.
‘Cryptocurrency Is More Like Bonds and Stocks’
In the draft guidelines published on the Elections Canada website, the autonomous agency states that virtual currencies “have traits of both money and property”, but stresses that they are not the same as money. It says a cryptocurrency donation is non-monetary, describing it more as bonds or stocks, and is therefore not eligible for a tax receipt. However, it should be received within the stipulations and limitations of the Canada Elections Act (CEA).
“Like money, they [cryptocurrencies] can be used to make purchases from businesses that choose to accept them,” the note reads. “But unlike money, they cannot be placed directly into a bank account. Instead cryptocurrencies can be sold for traditional currencies that can be placed into a bank account.” This characteristic, according to Elections Canada, qualifies digital currencies as “a form of ‘property’ and fall under the definition of a non-monetary contribution.”
The position mirrors that of the U.S. Federal Election Commission. Most Canadian government and auditing bodies have already taken the position that cryptocurrencies are non-monetary. The Canada Revenue Agency considers crypto to be a commodity, subject to barter transaction rules when used to buy goods or services.
No to Anonymous Donations
Elections Canada said that political entities receiving donations should set up a two-step process to identify contributors of more than 20 Canadian dollars ($ 15) and to record transaction information from the blockchain so that contributions can be audited.
Although this recommendation may on paper look easy to implement, it is more difficult than it appears due to the anonymity associated with cryptocurrencies. Donations in crypto will typically be sent and received between digital wallets using public keys that are then translated into addresses and appear on the blockchain ledger as a string of letters and numbers.
These addresses are the only data available to the public as to who the sender and receiver might be. To address these challenges, Elections Canada indicated that when a political party receives donations in cryptocurrency, it should keep “a record of the contributor’s name and address, transaction number on the blockchain or other public ledger, public addresses used in the transaction, contribution date, amount and type of cryptocurrency sent, commercial value in Canadian dollars at the time received, and any transaction fees deducted.”
In addition, the political party should report the individual’s name, address and contribution amount in the financial return, if required, in accordance with the rules for non-monetary contributions.
“Failure to follow these procedures could result in the contribution being considered anonymous for the purposes of the CEA which would require the political entity to pay an amount equal to its commercial value to the Receiver General for Canada,” explain the guidelines.
Candidates Cannot Buy Property Using Donated Crypto
To meet the CEA’s objective of transparency, candidates and party leaders cannot buy property or services directly with cryptocurrencies. This is also the case for registered political parties in terms of their election expenses. The electoral body noted that cryptocurrencies must be liquidated and the funds deposited into the political entity’s bank account before being used to make purchases.
The draft report also noted that when a political entity sells digital currency, the transaction results in a contribution from the buyer only if the purchase price is above fair market value. The contributor must be eligible under the contribution rules and stay within their limit. But political parties can hold crypto for “an indefinite period,” which will be reported as assets at the fiscal year-end.
Political parties have up to Jan. 21, 2019, to submit their opinions and improvements to the draft document.
What do you think about Elections Canada’s draft note on cryptocurrency-based donations for political parties? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The European Banking Authority (EBA), a regulatory agency of the European Union, has published its assessment into the application of EU law to crypto assets. The agency, which is headquartered in London, recommends that the European Commission tables a response to the risks regulators associate with the field such as money laundering.
Crypto Activity Is Outside Scope of EU Banking Rules
In the report released on Jan. 9, the EBA examines the application of current EU banking, payments, e-money and anti-money laundering laws to crypto assets, wallet providers and trading platforms, as well as the related activities of credit institutions, investment firms, payment institutions and electronic money institutions.
It determines that the current relatively low level of such activity in the EU does not create a risk for financial stability. However, the agency also found that activities involving crypto assets typically fall outside the scope of EU banking, payments and electronic money regulation. It believes this raises risks for consumers that are not addressed at EU level.
The report further details that, as a result of the development of national level responses, regulatory differences between European countries are starting to emerge. It fears these present risks to the level playing field the union is supposed to maintain between its members. The banking agency also sees a need for a review of EU anti-money laundering legislation.
More Monitoring of Institutions’ Activities
Following the findings of the report, the EBA has advised the European Commission to make a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis to determine what action is required at the EU level at this stage. The agency also advises the commission to note the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force from October 2018, and to take steps to promote consistency in the accounting treatment of crypto assets. The banking regulator also plans a number of steps to take in 2019 in order to enhance the monitoring of institutions’ activities and consumer-facing disclosure practices.
The agency’s Executive Director, Adam Farkas, commented: “The EBA’s warnings to consumers and institutions on virtual currencies remain valid. The EBA calls on the European Commission to assess whether regulatory action is needed to achieve a common EU approach to crypto assets. The EBA continues to monitor market developments from a prudential and consumer perspective.”
What are your thoughts on the European Banking Authority’s reports into crypto asset regulation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Madonna is speaking out following recent speculation from fans that she enhanced her backside.
The US and Israel officially quit the UN’s educational, scientific, and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias, the AP reports. The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow…
Zac Park, 29, and Spencer Markel, 35, are co-chief executives of Cubcoats, a company on the Westside of Los Angeles that makes children’s hoodies that can fold into stuffed animals. The 25-person enterprise originally offered eight animal hoodies but has since expanded to include licensed characters…
The UN agency tasked with containing HIV and AIDS is “in crisis” over “sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power” among its leadership, an independent panel of experts has concluded.
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A toxic gas attack left more than 100 people hospitalized in the government-controlled city of Aleppo, Syrian state news agency reported Sunday.
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