A local Israeli cryptocurrency exchange has agreed to pass on client information to tax authorities as part of a government drive to tighten cryptocurrency regulations, according to local Israeli news source Calcalist.
Major Israeli crypto exchange Bits of Gold will pass on details relating to large cryptocurrency deposits over $50,000 total in the last 12 months. The move by the government is reported to be aimed at reducing money laundering through crypto exchanges.
Israel’s Prohibition on Money Laundering Law has required withdrawals and deposits over NIS 50,00 ($14,700 at time of press) be reported to the country’s Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority (IMPA) with verification required from investors regarding the legality of deposits made. Taxation on cryptocurrency trading profits has recently been set at 25% with exchanges paying 17% VAT.
Privacy laws are clearly being tightened as in the past courts have often backed citizen’s rights to privacy in financial matters concerning tax details. Bits of Gold had recently been audited although it’s been reported that the tax authorities were seeking information regarding large investors who had used the company.
Authorities still regard digital currencies with a degree of suspicion, despite better consumer protection and increasing global regulation of the space. Earlier this year Israel’s finance minister Moshe Kahlon signed a draft legislation which has been introduced to combat cryptocurrency money laundering in the country. The money laundering legislation, which is an addition to an existing law, will now include digital currency for the first time.
There have been frequent cases with many of Israel’s banks refusing to accept cryptocurrency-related money, and on two occasions banks were forced to accept the money after being taken to court. Earlier in the year Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, was found to have unlawfully blocked a money transfer of USD 195,00 coming from a European cryptocurrency exchange platform, citing unsubstantiated claims of suspected money laundering and terrorist financing.
An IMPA draft bill from May of this year has stipulated that, if passed, financial entities will be required to keep 5 years-worth of trading records on each client including their IP addresses, according to ClavinAyre.com.
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