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On Monday December 17, the National Assembly in France rejected four amendments to various cryptocurrency tax bills. Tensions have been high in France recently, due to riots that have spanned weeks. Police have used tear gas and water cannons on protesters, and violent clashes are continuing to happen between authorities and protesters. The protests began due to a rise in fuel tax, but has since expanded to include many other issues that affect finance, education and social issues. Well, the french crypto community is now up in arms too, feeling unsupported and at a loss for what the next moves are.
Alexandre Stachtchenko, president of La Chaintech, the blockchain actors association said:
“The fact that the rapporteur of the meeting starts his arguments with ‘I am not an expert, but it seems to me that …’ is amazing. If he does not know the subject, he does not report any article of law on it, period!”
Some good crypto news that came out of the assembly is that crypto activity in 2019 will be charged at a flat rate 5% lower than present. The flat rate will be 30% rather than 35%.
One key amendment being voted on was whether crypto miners should pay less than crypto traders. The idea behind this is that miners should pay less because its considered a business activity, rather than for personal gains, which is how trading is considered. The president of the French National Assembly, Richard Ferrand voted against this due to his lack of knowledge in the crypto area. He felt he would need more information before he could vote in good faith. Ferrand denied another motion that proposed to make tax payable on crytpo activity when purchased.
In another confusing move, both parties decided to deny another motion due to conflicts. One amendment wanted a maximum EUR 5000 worth of tax deductions to be granted to businesses operating in the crypto space, as an incentive towards innovative in the sector. However, there was another motion that directly conflicted with this, wanting to raise the minimum paybel tax bracket to EUR 3000.
Alothough this news is a somewhat frustrating display of the cryptocurrency situation in France, all hope is not lost for Alexandre Stachtchenko:
“But let’s not forget that we are not at the bottom of the pack in terms of competitiveness and the macroeconomic context. Let’s stay positive, and be ready to reopen the subject as soon as the opportunity arises.”