Some Cryptocurrency forums blew up yesterday and today about the new European “VAT regulations”The reason of this mass hysteria was induced by some news agencies that are implementing the same tactics the corporate media are using. Creating a panic is much easier than using unbiased reference material and writing a high quality and informative article.
If an article refers to a load of consultancy agencies and so called/ self proclaimed experts and not to source material, in this case to the actual European Union, it is extremely badly piece of journalism. It is quite obvious when an article focuses in on European VAT rulings or legislation that you refer to the European website.
One prominent news site is just working of a document, originated in 2013, publicized in 2014. OK, it is a document from the European Union, but sometimes people REALLY need to learn to read and interpret documents, or leave it to professionals like myself. On said document there is a disclaimer stating that: “Disclaimer: These explanatory notes are not legally binding and only contain practical and informal guidance about how EU law should be applied on the basis of the views of the Commission’s Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union.”
This means that the document is just a suggestion, nothing more or less, that can be changed at any time by the European Union. If people actually took the time to read that document from A to Z, they would have discovered this for themselves. Of course there are some big words in there so maybe using a dictionary would be a good idea too ( or let academics like myself write unbiased articles about it).
So what does the new regulation mean? Let us take a look what the European Union have to say about their new regulations. “The change in place of supply rules concerns only digital services, being telecommunications, radio and television broadcasting and electronic services, supplied to private consumers. These can be, for example, phone or satellite TV subscriptions, downloadable software, songs or e-books. Any other e-commerce activity is not covered by the change. For instance, distance selling of physical goods or of other services that involve human intervention, even though the communication is done by email (i.e. legal services carried out at distance; education at distance involving assistance by the teacher) are not covered by the changes”.
Now this does not mention Bitcoin or any other crypto currency in any way. We also posed questions to the legal department of the EU and they ensured us that digital currencies will be a section on itself. There are also initiatives from local Bitcoin groups to unite and try to hammer out some legal fundamentals concerning Bitcoin and the EU.
The whole Digital Currency issue in Europe has not yet been heard. The European union is taking it very slow with everything crypto related. So here is a suggestion for all the people that are wanting to write articles: do good research and that doesn’t mean just googling some dubious sources and using them because it makes for a more sensational article, regardless if the source material is correct or not. A good working knowledge about the European Union and EU parliament would be a plus too, especially when dealing with articles concerning the EU regulations.
So let us backtrack a bit and get back to the issue; the EU VAT. Conclusion there isn’t any VAT being levied on Bitcoin or digital currencies.
Example of a bad interpreted source material:
The EU website: