France has mandates its citizens to declare all revenue from all transactions involving Bitcoin.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance of France has decided that revenue from Bitcoin transactions are subject to taxation even though the government does not recognize it as a digital currency.
Of course, this stance has generated much controversy given the status of Bitcoin in the country. Nevertheless, according to French law, the new requirements will be lax for the underaged and those who only earn small amounts at irregular intervals using Bitcoin.
“All taxpayers are required to declare all their revenues, including those originating from abroad. This said, there is a certain tolerance regarding minor and irregular revenues, for instance from occasional sales,” said a spokesperson of the French ministry.
The legal status of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies in France is uncertain, which makes it confusing when it comes to taxing Bitcoin revenues. Moreover, back in December, France has joined the ranks of other countries issuing warnings for people using Bitcoin:
“Bitcoin cannot be considered as a currency, given that it is possible to refuse payment made in Bitcoin without violating article R642-3 of the [French] Penal Code, which sanctions refusal of banknotes and coins denominated in the euro.”
Despite this, it is hard for the French to pass up on a possible source of income, who have been reeling from the global recession and scrambling for additional revenue themselves to keep their stagnating economy afloat.
At the end of last year, a controversial 75% “millionaire tax” was also imposed on individuals making over 1 million euros per year, causing some to flee for greener pastures such as the famous French actor, Gerard Depardieu.
This raises the question of whether the French government is inadvertently throwing a monkey-wrench into their own economy, which could stifle growth, innovation and stonewall many potential Bitcoin related startups from opening up.
Also, the French government’s position is almost identical to the United States where despite the property status, many Bitcoin related business are springing up and more and more merchants are starting to accept Bitcoin as payment.
In any case, France will have to come up with a plan on how to implement the tax plan and the future of crypto-currencies related business in the country could depend on how all of this will pan out.