Swiss region to take cryptocurrency for tax payments in 2021

Science & Technology

GENEVA (AP) — A Swiss region that has billed itself as a hub for high-tech finance said Thursday that it plans to accept cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether for tax payments starting next year.

Switzerland’s Zug canton joins its eponymous main city and several Swiss towns in agreeing to take tax payments in cryptocurrency. Zug is thought to be the first region in the rich Alpine country to make the decision.

The canton, which bills itself as home to “Crypto Valley,” said it would accept taxes from companies or individuals of up to 100,000 Swiss francs (about $110,000) paid in Bitcoin or Ether as of February. A pilot program is expected to be launched in the coming weeks.

“We are not taking any risks with the new payment method, as we always receive the amount in Swiss francs, even when paying in Bitcoin or Ether,” cantonal finance director Heinz Taennler said in a statement.

Taxpayers who want to pay in cryptocurrency would notify tax authorities, who in return would send a digitized QR code that allows for such payments.

Other places have explored accepting cryptocurrencies for tax payments. A former treasurer in the U.S. state of Ohio launched OhioCrypto.com in 2018 for business tax payments. The state’s attorney general ruled last year that the program was illegal, casting doubt over its future.

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