Crypto Tax Bill Stalls In Georgia Legislature

News, Regulation | April 5, 2018 By:

A bill that would allow taxpayers to pay their bills in cryptocurrencies has stalled in the US state of Georgia legislature.

Senate Bill 464, which was submitted on February 21 by senators Michael Williams and Joshua McKoon, proposes that “the commissioner shall accept as valid payment for taxes and license fees any cryptocurrency, including, but not limited to, bitcoin, that uses an electronic peer-to-peer system.”

In a recent statement, Republican State Senator Michael Williams said that the bill never got a committee hearing before the adjournment of the Senate on March 29. The bill, he said, will have to be reintroduced when the next legislative session begins in Georgia in January 2019.

Williams cited lack of understanding on what cryptocurrency is as one of the reasons for the delay in passage of bill.

“When I was talking to Senators, there was that old-school, ‘Isn’t that what was used to buy drugs?,'” Williams said. “Passing the bill is going to take educating decision-makers and government regulators on what cryptocurrencies are.”

Passing the bill would require more cryptocurrency education for lawmakers. The senator suggested holding educational events and hearings to help lawmakers better understand cryptocurrencies.

“The more we can talk to legislators and the general public, the more we can educate on the beneficial aspects of blockchain,” he said.

Williams also praised the cautious approach taken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regarding initial coin offering (ICO) regulation.

“We do need regulation in the [initial coin offering] space but we don’t need too much,” Williams said. “We don’t want the regulators to come in and clamp down on the innovation, but at the same time we do need to protect the public from the bad apples,” said Williams. “From what I’ve seen so far, I think they’re taking a very cautious approach [and] I think they’re doing well.”