“Virtual coins are the digital representation of a value, used as an exchange instrument or held for investment, which may be transferred, stored and negotiated electronically”. This is how the Bank of Italy defined cryptocurrencies in 2015. Thus, as in many other European countries, cryptocurrencies are considered to be assets rather than currencies.
How are my cryptos taxed in Italy?
Italian citizens might be happy to hear that they are exempt of the obligation to pay taxes on their cryptocurrencies provided that their their profit does not exceed 51,645.69 EUR for at least seven consecutive working days and that their profits don’t stem from business activities. Still the law leaves some room for interpretation. Thus, if the authorities view the currency as foreign currency trade, the profits, when exceeding the forementioned amount, are taxed at a rate of 26%. In comparison with other European countries this still is a rather low tax rate.
As for businesses using cryptocurrencies, a Ministerial Resolution from the Revenue Agency of Italy, states their transactions to be constituting corporate income or losses which hence are subject to taxation. The resolution additionally requires companies to register their crypto operations including a range of data like names, amounts and information of transactions.
How are initial coin offerings regulated in Italy?
Missing a clear statement from financial authorities like the Bank of Italy, initial coin offerings leave room for interpretation thus requiring a one on one case assessment. Depending on the definition, different laws come into play. The main question when investigating an ICO is whether it is a “financial product”, “an investment having a financial nature” or a “public offer of financial products”. Although there are no clear rules at the time being, ICOs may well fall within the scope of the existing legal framework regarding the offer of “financial products” and therefore need to have e.g. a prospectus and investments services.
How do Italian banks handle cryptocurrencies?
There is no official statement on cryptocurrencies from national Italian banks. Still in a keynote speech from June 2018, Fabio Panetta, deputy governor of the Bank of Italy, addressed the issue of CBDCs (central bank digital currencies) in comparison with virtual currencies which he consideres to be “liabilities belonging to nobody”. Hence in his speech he focuses on the pros of CBDC which on the other hand are backed by the banks own assets. Combined with the distributed ledger technology CBDCs offer a store of value therefore being an asset with “unique characteristics,” free of credit and liquidity risks. As stated above, a definite opinion on cryptocurrencies is non existent yet.
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The information provided in this blog post is for general information purposes only. The information was completed to the best of our knowledge and does not claim either correctness or accuracy. For detailed information on crypto regulations we recommend contacting a certified legal advisor in the specific country.
As this blog post referrs to international crypto laws, the content will only be available in English. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on one of our social media channels.