Ways of doing business have changed. In a short amount of time, crypto-assets have gone from insignificant to being used in more and more areas of the national economy. Therefore, given its importance, the economic and legal sectors warn ‘clear and uniform legal framework is increasingly necessary.’
In this regard, Gerard Aguilar Navarro, lawyer and Tax Manager at Tecnotramit, warns that ‘Spain does not have a specific law on cryptocurrencies yet’ but instead, ‘the legislative body has approved different regulations, almost forced to do so, following the approval of various European Union (EU) Directives.’
The expert further explains: ‘Since the implementation of Royal Decree-Law 7/2021 of 27 April, which transposed EU directives establishing definitions for virtual currencies and other related concepts, the Government has passed a series of laws not only to regulate transactions concerning these cryptocurrencies, but also to establish their respective tax and return obligations.’
‘Despite this reactively drafted regulatory framework, it is clear there is no specific tax regulation on crypto-assets. Instead, we must turn to the doctrine that the Directorate General of Taxes (Dirección General de Tributos, DGT) adopts when responding to the queries it receives on specific cases and taxes’, as explained by Aguilar Navarro.
A long –and increasingly urgent– road ahead
‘There is need to create a specific and uniform regulatory framework on the taxation of crypto-assets in line with European regulations, that allows for appropriate legal-tax classification of these assets and the transactions that arise from them, but that also adapts to the evolution of new technologies and responds to the tax risks that may arise in the future,’ he concludes.
In this sense, the Bank of Spain recently pointed out that the main crypto-assets have multiplied by more than 13 times their market value from the beginning of 2020 to their peak in November 2021, and by almost 8 times in the latest data of February 2022, which points to ‘growing systemic significance’.