In response to a query by a member of parliament, the German Finance Ministry has declared (Google Translate) that it accepts bitcoins as a “unit of account.” The Ministry added that bitcoins are a sort of “private money” and that mining bitcoins constitutes “private money creation.” The Ministry also clarified that if a German taxpayer holds bitcoins for more than a year, she is exempt from paying the 25 percent capital gains tax. Such a tax would ordinarily be paid after profiting from the sale of a stock, bond, or other security. However, taxpayers are now required to pay taxes on any profits made from Bitcoin transactions that happen within a year. How would the Finance Ministry even know if a taxpayer holds bitcoins? The taxpayer would be expected to declare them as part of her assets and income as part of her annual tax return.     

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