Argentina’s Tax Authority, AFIP (Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos), has taken steps to combat tax evasion by crypto holders. The agency announced that it had sent notifications to over 3,997 taxpayers who are crypto holders.
AFIP Asks Crypto Holders To Amend Tax Statements
The notifications noted that these taxpayers’ tax statements contained some inconsistencies. For example, their tax statements did not align with their cryptocurrency holdings.
Meanwhile, the tax statements under review correspond to their activities in 2020. The tax authority has been using data from local crypto exchanges to cross-check users’ tax payments.
Also, AFIP cross-checked the information with the cryptocurrency holdings of these taxpayers. The results revealed some inconsistencies, which made AFIP reach out to these taxpayers.
In addition, AFIP notified over 3,997 Argentine crypto holders. Hence, these taxpayers must correct these errors according to their crypto holdings. Otherwise, they will have to pay more taxes.
Further, AFIP linked the notice to tax statements these crypto holders submitted in 2020. The taxpayers affected had used local crypto exchanges to perform their transactions.
Moreover, the country’s law asks local crypto exchanges to send operational info to AFIP. According to the notification, these taxpayers operated with local crypto exchanges in the county.
The notice reads:
“You are notified that the proceeds from selling virtual currencies are subject to Income Tax. Therefore, if appropriate, you must communicate them in the necessary documents and your holding.”
However, these taxpayers may have to justify their crypto usage in 2020. As a result, they would have to report their crypto history right from when they bought the digital currency to date.
Consequently, these taxpayers might have to amend crypto tax payments for years before 2020. However, if these taxpayers default, their actions might force the regulator to seize their cryptos. Nevertheless, analysts argue that the seizure of crypto to pay tax debt is controversial in Argentina.
AFIP Does Not Have the Power To Seize Crypto Wallets
An attorney in the country, Daniel Perez, said no laws give the state power to takeover users’ wallets. However, the tax entity has the authority to seize digital accounts.
AFIP has seized over 1200 digital accounts that refused to pay tax from February till now.
Additionally, Perez said there should be changes to the country’s laws to allow the seizure of electronic wallets. Without such amendments, the Tax agency cannot seize the electronic wallet of tax defaulters.
AFIP is aware of this need to modify local tax laws. Hence, the agency is trying to add a clause to the Budget. This clause will empower the agency to seize electronic crypto and fiat currency wallets.
But this new law has one major limitation. The agency can only seize digital currencies saved in non-custodial wallets and exchanges. Also, government authorities cannot access users’ accounts without their private keys. Hence, the agency might have to use force to access the private keys of tax offenders.
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