Author Topic: 弗罗里达法学教授称虚拟货币是“最佳避税天堂”  (Read 1157 times)

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Omri Marian是美国弗罗里达州一所大学的法学教授,他在最近发表的一份报告中把虚拟货币比作“最佳的避税天堂”。他认为美国税法虽然规定将比特币作为征税资产,而政府无法控制区块链交易的事实会使越来越多的人避开征税。

- Omri Marian
– Omri Marian
 
当初政府想要对虚拟货币开始“监管”时,他们给出的理由是保护客户不受到欺骗或洗钱的影响。这些或许的确是让政府担心的地方之一,但这些绝非是最主要的原因。
 
在当前的制度下,雇主需要上报员工工资和公司利润。除了用现金的形式支付给员工工资以外,税务部门如国家税务局会通过电子支付记录来监控交易,从而开展征税工作。虽然当前的税收政策较为严格,但美国政府在2001年到2010年间还是因逃税者过多而损失了3.09万亿美元的税收。并且流失的税收也并非来自于个人,今年七月瑞信银行就因偷税案被迫补交7.79亿美元的税款。
 
Marian教授在他的报告里指出虚拟货币的匿名性会让偷税漏税者把资金转移到更为安全的地方,例如区块链。不仅个人会对此产生兴趣,企业也会毫不犹豫的为了经济效益而缩减支出。
 
他还提到,虚拟货币与许多避税天堂有一样的特点,但也存在一个巨大的不同,那就是虚拟货币不以来金融机构的存在而存在。然而政府还没能看清这个问题在未来的严重性。随着大量的热钱流向海外避税天堂,政府不得不想到虚拟货币这个方法,因为传统手段似乎已经失去了作用,最近的立法活动反映出了这种困惑。这种犹豫不决似乎源于对比特币缺乏准确的定义,难以判断它是资产还是货币。
 
目前出于征税目的,比特币已经被看作是一种资产,这对于比特币投资者来说是一件好事,因为他们可以按资本收益交税,而不需要缴纳更高税率的收入所得税。但如果有一天比特币得到更广泛的认可,那么税率也很可能会相应调高。
 
有趣的是,瑞士政府不久前宣布将公开外国客户账户信息。然而实际上聪明的投资者会尽量避开欧洲的逃税天堂,因为在大部分情况下私法对非法所得或非法使用的资产没有效力。
 
这项声明并没有对税收产生影响,现在却使瑞士银行的账户失去了原有的私密性。因此,绝大部分的逃税者将他们的资金移去了加勒比海地区和美国中部,那里的银行法对账户持有者更加有利。
 
如果真的如Marian教授所说,投资者正将资金转化为虚拟货币,最终将会对税收产生致命的打击。一些包括Trace Mayer在内的专家认为,如果现在将当前储存在海外账户上的资金的1%转换成比特币,就足以使比特币的价格增长到280万一枚,结果就是比特币大幅增值而美元一文不值。
 
- Trace Mayer
– Trace Mayer
 
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Re: 弗罗里达法学教授称虚拟货币是“最佳避税天堂”
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 10:04:57 PM »
A University of Florida law professor, Omri Marian, who believes that cryptocurrencies are “super tax havens,” says that while cryptocurrencies are already considered taxable assets (under US tax law), the inability of the government to monitor blockchain transactions could mean a lot more people opting out of the tax system.



- Omri Marian, a professor of tax law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law

When we hear that the government wants to “regulate” cryptocurrencies the reason given is always to protect consumers from fraud and money laundering. The fact is, however, that while these may in fact be legitimate government concerns they certainly are not the only concerns, or even the most important.

Under the current system employers are required to report employee earnings as well as company profits. Unless the employer pays in cash there are electronic records of payments which tax agencies like the Internal Revenue Service use to monitor transactions for tax purposes. The United States government lost US$3.09 trillion between 2001 and 2010 to tax evaders under the current tightly controlled system. These losses do not all come from individuals either. In July, Credit Suisse was forced to pay US$779 million in tax evasion cases.

Professor Marian makes the point in his report that the anonymity aspect of cryptocurrencies might soon cause many current tax evaders to move their resources into a more secure location, i.e. the blockchain. He also suggests that not only will individuals become interested but businesses as well as government reporting requirements can be extremely cost intensive. Businesses that are able to cut or even reduce these expenses will not hesitate due to the financial incentive at hand.

Marian also points out that cryptocurrencies already have many of the features of current tax havens with one huge difference: Cryptocurrencies are not reliant on the existence of financial institutions.

Professor Marian also suggests that the government has failed to identify how acute this problem might eventually become. While they have been active in stemming the money tide to offshore tax havens, the government appears to be scratching its head with how to approach cryptocurrencies, which seem to be immune to conventional measures and current legislative activity (or lack thereof) reflects this confusion. The indecision seems to be coming from a lack of a clear definition of what exactly Bitcoin is: property or money.

Currently Bitcoin is considered property for tax purposes which is actually good for Bitcoin investors because it allows them to pay taxes on Capital Gains instead on earnings, which are taxed at a higher rate. If Bitcoin becomes a state-recognized however, the tax rate will probably increase as well.

Interestingly enough, the Swiss government has announced not too long ago that it will be sharing the identities of foreign account holders with their home countries. The fact is, however, that savvy investors already steer clear of European “tax havens” because in most cases privacy laws do not apply to funds that are either obtained illegally or that are being used in an illegal manner.

Until the recent announcement, this caveat did not apply to tax agencies but now that has changed making Swiss accounts no more private than any other bank. As a result, the great majority of tax evaders are moving their accounts to the Caribbean and Central America where banking laws are much more account holder friendly.

If Professor Marian is correct and investors begin moving money out of fiat currencies and into cryptocurrencies, the effect can be devastating to the tax base. According to experts like Trace Mayer, if only 1% of funds that are currently sitting in offshore accounts were transferred to Bitcoin, for instance, it would increase the value of Bitcoin to $2.8 million per coin, greatly increasing its value while at the same time devaluing the US dollar significantly.
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