Canada Revenue Agency Surveys Businesses About Bitcoin ATM Use and Tax Law Enforcement
Canada Revenue Agency Surveyed Businesses To Discover Why They Are Taking Bitcoin ATMs
The Canadian government is not a fan of cryptocurrencies. When it sees Bitcoin, it actually sees trouble. As the tokens can be hard to track, there is also a high potential for fraud and non compliance of the national tax laws associated with it.
Recently, in an effort to understand how Bitcoin and other cryptos are operating in the traditional economic space, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has made a research on Bitcoin ATMs. According to the spokesperson of the CRA, Etienne Biram, it is important to note that Canadians still have tax obligations even when using cryptos.
Bitcoin ATMs Are Not Really ATMs At All
A funny fact that you may not know about Bitcoin ATMs: they are not ATMs. They do not have any connection to bank accounts, for instance, they only are internet-linked terminals that were created with the goal of allowing users to buy and sell cryptos easily. Because of this, it is easy to use them to buy tokens without being associated to the money.
The study surveyed 20 businesses in Canada and its goal was to understand why a business would choose to install a Bitcoin ATM. Basically, the governmental agency wanted to understand the value that this brings to the businesses and the attitudes of tax compliance of the consumers.
While most people used ATMs for investment, just under half of the business owners stated that they had the impression that some people used Bitcoin ATMs for some sort of wrongdoing. However, this was only an impression as no business owner actually accused anyone of any crime. The two highest reported categories were suspicion of illicit activities (like buying drugs) and avoiding taxes.
Also, a total of 25% of the businessmen stated that they have seen scams that intended to intercept the victims to steal their money like people pretending to be the police or even the CRA.
The Number of ATMs is Still Small, But Constantly Growing
The researchers found out that the number of Bitcoin ATMs might be small at the time, but it is growing. During the research, 300 ATMs were discovered and 20 were surveyed.
The CRA had a theory that crypto enthusiasts would be the ones installing Bitcoin ATMs, but that turned out not be the truth. Most businessmen simply wanted to help their own business. They believed that Bitcoin ATMs would increase store traffic and that they could get some income from the ATM.
One example of this is Peter Aboud. He installed the Bitcoin ATM on his market in Ottawa for the convenience of the clients. Some clients asked about it and then he decided to install it. The money that they receive from the machine is not a lot but “it’s something”, according to Aboud.
Normally, only two to five people use the Bitcoin ATMs in a single day. The CRA found out that these machines were underperforming in the vision of the business owners. The CRA plans to use this data to refine the way that it educates people about tax compliance and to approach risks of tax evasion. The Canadian governments’ main concern is simply to keep things fair and transparent.
According to Jason Beitchman, a Toronto lawyer specialized in commercial litigation, Bitcoin, as any new technology, needs to be in line with the government rules and regulations. According to him, it’s just like Uber. Bitcoin is disruptive, but it can be regulated in time.