Russia Proposes Tax Code Changes; Digital Financial Assets to be Classified as Property


The prime minister of Russia, Mikhail Mishustin, has said that the government is considering categorizing digital financial assets (DFA) as a form of property. Mikhail, who was speaking at a recent Russian government session, noted that the authorities intend to forge a path for a civilized local crypto market. According to a transcript of the meeting, Mikhail acknowledged the growing interest in this emerging asset class, hence the need for advanced oversight informed by law.

Other than supporting the growing crypto industry, Mikhail's legal propositions are set to protect consumers as well. In fact, the Russian prime minister was keen to highlight that the propositions will help DFA owners to safeguard their rights and interest with a guarantee of proper legal frameworks. He also added that taking such a direction will make it difficult for ‘shadow schemes’ to thrive within the Russian market.

Mikhail’s general sentiment was to amend the tax code to include the legal propositions that would recognize DFA’s as property,

“Let’s make a number of changes to the Tax Code so digital financial assets can be recognized as property, and their owners will be able to count on legal protection in the event of any illegal actions, as well as to defend their property rights in court.”

The prime minister who was appointed earlier this year has been vocal about prioritizing a digital economy's growth. Previously, Mikhail was the lead of Russia’s tax agency, having to be at the helm for around a decade. His newly appointed role as the head of government comes when crypto assets are a major and unavoidable topic for most developed economies.

Notably, Russia has not been among the most crypto-friendly jurisdictions according to the latest oversight developments that target the operation of crypto assets. Back in September, the Ministry of Finance proposed to criminalize the non-disclosure of crypto accounts. The country is set to enforce its digital asset bill in January 2021, having being signed into law by President Putin.

Oversight Still Ambiguous

While the latest sentiments by Mikhail seem quite bearish for crypto fundamentals, an expert who spoke to Decrypt was of a contrary opinion. Artyom Tolkachev, the CEO of Tokenomica, said that Mikhail’s take had not brought anything new to the table. He mentioned that tax code amendment to feature DFA’s had already been announced some time back. Also, crypto-assets supposedly do not fall within the DFA category,

“It is important to understand that cryptocurrencies are not ‘digital financial assets.’ By their nature, DFAs are more like security tokens, so it is a bit strange that they were considered side by side at a government meeting.”

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