Germany may add 19% VAT tax to Bitcoin

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Updated: May 27, 2014

The German national tax authority (BMF) has the opinion that bitcoin sold for commercial purposes should have a VAT (sales tax) tax. This is really bad news for bitcoin in Germany and even for all of Europe considering the influence that Germany has in the EU. Maybe the bitcoin community waited too long and now decisions about bitcoin are being made by people that do not understand bitcoin.

The BMF thinks that businesses need to pay VAT on every amount of bitcoin that they sell. That would destroy bitcoin as a payment solution for cafes, bars and restraints. It also does not really make any sense. Businesses already charge the 19% VAT when they offers products or services. It is already calculated into the price (unlike int he USA where it is added to the price when you pay). If a coffee costs 1,89€ then it already has 19% in the price. If the business has to pay this 19% AGAIN then they are basically paying almost 40% tax which doesn’t make any sense at at all!

However if the business uses a third party like bitpay then they do not need to pay the 19% two times, only if they accept the bitcoins themselves. It is as if the laws were written in a time when the FAX was modern.

Lets hope the German bitcoin community can convince the BMF to change their mind.