Georgia Lawmakers Propose Bill Allowing Bitcoin Tax Payments
Georgia state residents may soon find themselves in allowance of making tax payments using digital currencies.
This is because two senators from the state have introduced an exclusive bill which seeks to allow cryptocurrency payments to settle both licensure fees and tax obligations.
The two Georgia senators, Michael Williams and Joshua McKoon, have proposed an amendment to the licenses and tax collection statutes of the Georgia Revenues Department.
They submitted this particular bill in late February.
The legislation, labeled as GA Senate Bill 464, would allow the state’s residents to pay licensure fees and tax obligations in either Bitcoin or other digital currencies.
The bill outlines that the commissioner will subsequently accept as valid payment (for both license fees and taxes) any cryptocurrency, inclusive of but not limited to Bitcoin, which makes use of a peer-to-peer electronic system.
The text further outlines that the commissioner shall subsequently convert all payments made in digital currency, including Bitcoin, to standard U.S. Dollars at the predominant rate within a period of 24 hours after he or she receives such form of payment.
Afterward, the commissioner shall proceed to credit the account of the payer with an equivalent of the amount converted from cryptocurrency to dollars.
States Looking to be Bitcoin Hotbeds by Considering Crypto Payments
Although this push for acceptance of digital currency may come off as a surprise to many, Georgia is remarkably not the first state to propose such a bill.
A closer look and there is a similarity in the underlying objectives of another Senate bill that was recently passed in Arizona.
That bill enables Arizona citizens to pay their income taxes with cryptocurrencies.
Arizona Representative Jeff Weninger, who co-sponsored the bill, said that this legislation and others like it help to establish Arizona as the future center for digital currency and blockchain technology.
In a similar case, senators in Wyoming are also introducing legislation aimed to integrate cryptocurrencies into tax law.
The bill, Wyoming Senate Bill 111, would exempt digital currencies from the state’s property taxes.
The decision of the state of Georgia to quickly follow in the footsteps of its counterparts is perhaps because of the fact that the region has a significant digital currency community.
If this proposed bill is passed, it will result in the amendment of the Code Section 48-2-32 of the Georgia Revenue Department.
Is Moving to Crypto Feasible?
Assuming this proposed bill goes through the Georgia House of Representatives and gets the approval of the governor, it will instantly be incorporated into law.
Nonetheless, despite the fairly radical nature of this bill, there are still many questions surrounding it.
For instance, if passed into law, how would the state of Georgia handle custody issues that come with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Would the state manage the private keys? Does the state have in place the required tax and accounting software to control and manage the huge list of difficulties that go with the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments? This remains but a mystery to be solved.
While Arizona has surprisingly experienced substantive success with a similar project, it is unfortunately not a guarantee that the Georgia bill will receive such optimism.
This is especially so when referring back to previous opposition to similar proposals, as has been witnessed in other U.S. states.