The new rules legalize cryptocurrency, but prohibit its use in Russia to pay for goods and services. The document introduces other important changes regarding taxes and judicial protection of holders of a new type of assets.
Today, January 1, 2021, the law "On digital financial assets" came into force. It defines cryptocurrency, but prohibits its use in Russia to pay for goods and services. Advertising of digital money payments also falls under the ban.
According to the new law, digital currency is “a set of electronic data (digital code or designation) contained in the information system, which are offered and (or) can be accepted as a means of payment that is not a monetary unit of the Russian Federation, a monetary unit of a foreign state and (or) an international monetary or unit of account, and (or) as an investment and in respect of which there is no person obligated to each owner of such electronic data ”.
Thus, cryptocurrency is defined as a digital code that is used as a means of payment and savings, as well as an investment. But in Russia it is prohibited to use it to pay for goods and services. The definition of digital currency is universal and allows it to be applied not only to cryptoassets issued in Russian information systems under the supervision of the Bank of Russia, but also, for example, to bitcoin.
It introduces the need to file a tax return, which will reflect the very fact of owning digital currency, as well as transactions with it. This is a condition for judicial protection of such transactions. According to the law "On CFA", cryptocurrency in Russia can be bought, issued, sold, and other transactions made with it, but Russian citizens cannot pay with it.
The law makes a reference to separate documents that will regulate mining, the organization of the issuance and circulation of digital currency in Russia, as well as its taxation. It was originally planned that these amendments would be adopted in the autumn session of the State Duma and would come into force on January 1, but the authorities have not yet managed to come to a common opinion.
The CFA law, among other things, allows companies to issue their own tokens. On December 22, it became known that the palladium fund Global Palladium Fund, established by Norilsk Nickel, issued the first tokens. They were released on the digital blockchain platform Atomyze, which received approval from the Central Bank's financial technology department back in February.
In November, the Ministry of Finance prepared amendments to the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes of Russia, which provide for the imprisonment of digital currency owners for up to three years if they have not reported to the tax authorities at least twice in three years on transactions with digital currencies in the amount of 45 million rubles or more. … and above (equivalent).
The ministry also developed amendments to the Tax Code, anti-money laundering legislation and the Code of Administrative Offenses in terms of regulation of digital currencies and digital financial assets (DFA).
The Ministry of Finance proposes to oblige the owners of cryptoassets (individuals and organizations) to report to the tax authorities on the receipt of digital currency, on transactions with it and on its balances in the cryptocurrency wallet, if the amount of transactions in a calendar year is 600 thousand rubles, follows from the new version of the bill (in the previous version – 100 thousand rubles). The calculation of the amount should be based on the market price of the digital currency on the date of each transaction. The procedure for determining the market price must be established by the Federal Tax Service. For the first time, the ownership of cryptoassets must be reported no later than April 30, 2022.
For non-payment of tax, the penalty will be 40% of its original amount. If the owners of cryptoassets for three years more than two times did not provide data to the tax authority or included deliberately false information in the report, this entails criminal liability.
The amendments have not yet been adopted. In early December, the Commission on Blockchain Technologies and Cryptoeconomics sent reviews to the Ministry of Finance on a package of draft laws, stressing that the adoption of documents in their current form could lead to an outflow of capital from Russia, the funds could go to jurisdictions with more favorable regulation of the circulation of digital currencies.
Earlier, to a request from the editorial office of topplabs.org, the press service of the Ministry of Finance replied that the responses had been received and would be considered in due course within the framework of public discussion of the draft laws.