(Lisbon) Portugal intends to close the legal loophole that has prevented virtual assets from being taxed and made them particularly attractive to cryptocurrency investors, Portugal’s new finance minister said on Thursday.
Posted at 2:08 p.m
“The government intends to legislate on this matter, we will not keep this vacuum,” Fernando Medina told a meeting with the foreign press in Lisbon.
The government wants to present a new legal framework “as soon as possible” that will ensure that the balance between fiscal “fairness” and the country’s international “competitiveness” is maintained, the minister added.
Portugal is currently one of the few countries in Europe where cryptocurrency transactions are not “taxable” as they are not considered currencies or financial assets, according to a 2016 tax administration statement, which is still in force.
Individuals do not have to pay taxes or capital gains tax when buying and selling assets, and only professional activities that are rewarded in cryptoassets are taxed.
A first in the real estate industry
In anticipation of new tax regulations, investments in cryptocurrencies continue to gain ground, especially in the real estate sector with the first sale of an apartment paid for in Bitcoin without conversion to euros, carried out in early May.
This transaction is unprecedented “in Portugal and in Europe,” according to real estate agency Zome, which brokered the sale. This three-bedroom apartment worth 110,000 euros (149,000 CAD) has been sold for 3 bitcoins in Braga, a major city in north-western Portugal.
Allowed “thanks to new regulations of the Notarial Code approved at the end of April”, real estate transactions in cryptocurrency must be preceded by a “more thorough” verification procedure than a traditional sale in order to “verify the source”. the funds under the Money Laundering Act,” Zome spokesman Carlos Santos told AFP.
This agency, which has launched a portal with around 3,000 properties with prices displayed in Bitcoin, sees new development opportunities despite a difficult cryptocurrency sector in recent weeks.