The Spanish parliament has voted in favor of a controversial new law that will require citizens to report overseas crypto holdings, as the government appears ready to take “more control” over the crypto sector.
Per an official government release, the new law will oblige Spaniards “to report on holdings and operations with cryptocurrencies,” on tokens “both located in Spain and abroad” if the transactions “affect Spanish taxpayers.”
The government added that “information will be required on the balances and holders of the coins, as well as on all types of operations that have been carried out with them.”
“Due to their proliferation and popularity among investors and savers, it is necessary to take greater control over cryptocurrencies,” they said.
The new measures will make it “mandatory to inform” the tax body on annual declarations of assets and property – meaning individuals will have to complete forms detailing their “ownership of cryptocurrencies abroad.”
The bill, named the ‘Law on Fighting Tax Fraud’, also contains other provisions intended to fight tax avoidance, and will give tax bodies the power to conduct spot checks on “homes and businesses,” El Economista reported.
The bill still needs to be ratified after the senate voted in favor in a majority vote, but has been in the pipelines since last year, when the Council of Ministers gave it the green light. The proposal has since been championed by the Hacienda, Spain’s tax body.
It will see “overseas” crypto integrated into the much-maligned Modelo 720 system, which has drawn the ire of political rivals and requires Spaniards to complete exhaustive declarations about overseas real estate holdings. Critics have claimed the system lacks fairness and have taken their complaints to an EU court in Brussels.
Meanwhile, some of the biggest Spanish fund managers, including the likes of the commercial banking giants CaixiaBank and Santander, are refusing to invest in crypto, per a separate report from El Economista.
The media outlet added that BBVA, Bankinter, Ibercaja, and the Unicaja Banco-run Unigest fund had also ruled out adding crypto to portfolios, and quoted Jaime Martínez, the global director of asset allocation at BBVA, as stating:
“I am not saying that [adding crypto to our offerings] will never happen, I am just saying that right now we are not considering it. […] We are not going to complicate the lives of our clients with things that we do not have good control of yet. […] Portfolio [managers] are not planning to make movements in that direction.”
However, as reported, back in December 2020, BBVA said that starting in January 2021, its unit in Switzerland will progressively launch a new service for the trading and custody of digital assets.