In a milestone for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption, the state of Ohio has officially begun to accept Bitcoin for tax payments via OhioCrypto.com, and will be adding more cryptocurrencies in the future. This effort has been spearheaded by the Treasurer of Ohio, Josh Mandel, and is the first time in United States history that a state government has accepted Bitcoin for taxes.
OhioCrypto.com touts Bitcoin payments for taxes as beneficial because the process will be quick and easy, transparent, secure, have real-time tracking, the fees charged by the Bitcoin network are minimal, and payments can be done on mobile phones or tablets. It is particularly aimed at businesses, from mom and pop shops to major corporations, and is not a portal for individual tax payers.
In the FAQ, it says OhioCrypto.com was created because “Treasurer Mandel believes in leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide Ohioans more options and ease while interfacing with state government. The Treasurer’s office is also working to help make Ohio a national leader in blockchain technology… Treasurer Mandel has a proven record of leveraging technology to change how citizens interact with government”.
In total, 23 types of taxes can be paid with Bitcoin, including 911 wireless, cigarettes and tobacco products, commercial activity (CAT), consumer’s use, direct pay permit, financial institution (FIT), interest on lawyers trust accounts (IOLTA), international fuel tax agreement (IFTA), kilowatt hour, motor vehicle fuel (MVFT), natural gas distribution (Mcf), non-resident motor vehicles sales tax, pass-thru entity tax (PTE), petroleum activity (PAT), premium insurance tax, public utilities tax, sales tax, seller’s use tax, severance tax, streamlined sales tax (SST), and withholding tax. This is essentially the full spectrum of taxes that Ohio businesses have to pay.
All payments will be converted to fiat via BitPay to avoid market volatility and the Treasurer of Ohio will not be holding any Bitcoin. Most typical Bitcoin wallets are compatible with OhioCrypto.com, such as Bitcoin Core or Blockchain.com, and users will either scan a QR code or copy and paste a Bitcoin address to complete payment.
In the United States, Bitcoin has been regulated as property by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a security by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and a commodity by the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). However, now at least the Ohio Treasurer’s office is implicitly recognizing Bitcoin as a currency with the launching of OhioCrypto.com. Mandel explicitly says it too: “I do see [bitcoin] as a legitimate form of currency.”
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