Spain can soon settle tax debts by seizing crypto

The Spanish treasury will be granted the power to seize crypto assets when executing taxpayer debts when reforms to the country’s current tax laws come into force.

Under proposals first put forward in 2021, Spain’s tax watchdog, Agencia Tributaria, will consider digital asset entities as tax collection agents. This means that these firms will be required to embargo their customers’ crypto and collaborate with authorities when compelled by the government — measures previously only required by credit companies or traditional banks.

Spanish crypto traders will also have to declare any assets held in another country and authorities will be able to use crypto tax statements from as far back as 2021 to help them collect outstanding money.

Last week, the Spanish government issued a royal decree that makes crypto firms’ new responsibilities official. However, the speed with which the new measures are being implemented is causing problems for regulators as they try to remain in step with sweeping crypto regulation coming into force across the European Union (EU).

Read more: Spanish police say crypto’s complicated following ‘crypto-jihadist’ arrest

In October last year, the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation announced that the EU-wide Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), will come into force in the country in December 2025. This will be six months before the official deadline.

Spain is widely considered to be one of Europe’s frontrunners when it comes to crypto regulation. The country was one of the first in the EU to bring in tax controls on crypto and requires crypto traders and holders to declare personal crypto income and holdings.

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