Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading and Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)
Portugal’s Tax Authority has clarified that both cryptocurrency trading and payments in crypto will not be taxed in the country, Cointelegraph en Español reported on Aug. 27. Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading and Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)
According to a report published on Aug. 26 by Portuguese business newspaper Jornal de Negócios, the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority have confirmed that crypto transactions or payments are exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT).
The agency reportedly provided the clarification to a local crypto mining company, publishing an official ruling document. In the document, the authority states that the exchange of crypto for fiat money is free of VAT, adding that crypto users do not have to pay any income tax.
Portugal Cites A 2015 Ruling For Crypto Tax Exempt
In the official statement, the Portuguese tax authority cited a 2015 ruling by the European Court of Justice regarding the case involving major Swedish Bitcoin (BTC) portal Bitcoin.se and its moderator David Hedqvist.
As reported at the time, the court ordered that Bitcoin is a means of payment and that the exchange should therefore be exempted VAT obligations. However, the Swedish Tax Agency subsequently argued against the ruling, claiming that the court did not fully understand the matter.
Earlier Stance On Crypto
The confirmation follows a previous tax ruling by the Portuguese tax authority that cryptocurrencies are not taxed in the country. A document published by the agency in 2016 states that income from the sale of crypto in Portugal is not subject to income tax.
Earlier in 2013, the central bank of Portugal, the Banco de Portugal issued a statement citing a 2012 crypto-related paper by the European Central Bank.
The Portuguese bank raised concerns over the ECB’s Bitcoin recognition as a “phenomenon of innovation in virtual currency models,” claiming that Bitcoin cannot be considered a safe currency as it its issued by unregulated entities.
Xiaomi Denies Involvement In Shop Accepting Bitcoin In Portugal
A Portuguese shop selling products of Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi previously announced that it partnered with Utrust to unlock payments in five cryptocurrencies.
Chinese electronics manufacturer Xiaomi has denied the company’s involvement in a move by a Portuguese Xiaomi shop to start accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments.
Mi Store Portugal, a Xiaomi retailer in the country, announced Wednesday on Facebook that it now allows customers to purchase devices using five cryptocurrencies, including BTC, Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Dash (DASH) and the Utrust (UTK) token.
A spokesperson for Xiaomi subsequently reacted to the news on Chinese social media platform Weibo, stressing that the Mi Store Portugal is not directly related to Xiaomi’s operations. “We are concerned about the information that Mi Store Portugal accepts digital currency payments on overseas social platforms,” the person said. The representative added that Mi Store Portugal is a “third-party authorized partner” and operates independently in Portugal.
Mi Store Portugal subsequently removed the announcement on Aug. 6, also having taken down the related information from its website, previously stating that its customers were able to select the crypto payment option at checkout.
The new payment option is enabled through a partnership with Utrust, a European blockchain technology payment platform. “Xiaomi is the second-largest phone manufacturer in the world, and now their local branch is accepting the Money of Tomorrow,” Utrust said in a now-deleted tweet published on Wednesday.
The firm did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. Mi Store Portugal’s website still indicates Utrust as a payment partner alongside Visa and PayPal at the time of writing.
According to data from global industry analysis firm Counterpoint, Xiaomi surpassed global smartphone giant Apple as the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world in the second quarter of 2021. Mi Store Portugal is the only official retailer of Xiaomi’s certified products in Portugal, operating under the European legislation, the company’s website notes. The firm currently has six physical stores nationwide and is in the process of expansion.
Pedro Maia, marketing director of Mi Store Portugal, reportedly said that the company’s move to accept crypto payments aligns with Xiaomi’s striving for innovation. “We are a technological, innovative, and disruptive brand. That’s why we always want to be one step ahead. We want to give the possibility to all true technology fans to buy their favorite gadgets with what is currently the ‘most technological money.’”
As previously reported, Portugal has been steadily growing as a cryptocurrency-friendly country in recent years, with the local government charging zero taxes from retail crypto trading. Earlier this year, a local energy trading firm started accepting Bitcoin as payment for electricity bills.
In contrast, China has emerged as one of the world’s biggest anti-crypto countries, renewing a nation-wide crackdown on both cryptocurrency mining and crypto trading earlier this year.
Portugal To Ease Restrictions On Size Of Groups At Restaurants
Portugal will ease limits on the size of groups that can be seated at restaurants as it takes the next step in a plan to gradually lift restrictions put in place to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurants will be able to host groups of as many as eight people indoors and 15 people in outdoor seating from Monday, Presidency Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said at a press conference in Lisbon on Friday. That’s up from existing limits allowing groups of as many as six people indoors and 10 people outdoors. The government is also lifting capacity restrictions on public transport.
Portugal accelerated its Covid-19 inoculation campaign amid a new surge of cases in June, and more than 70% of the population has now completed vaccination, according to the government.
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