Finance demands information from 16 banks on accounts that operate with cryptocurrencies

The information requirements are directed to practically the entire Spanish financial system. Not because the treasury believes that the entities have committed any irregularity, but to know in depth their customers who buy or sell bitcoins. Exchange houses, ATMs and other companies that accept payments in cryptocurrencies must also respond.

In Hacienda admit that the digital currency market has grown a lot in recent months, although it is still very small. Despite its small size, concern is growing about the possibility that these operations are used to launder money or other types of criminal activities. The request for information should also help to bring out activities that could be taxed, but the Tax Agency does not have many illusions about achieving large amounts of money thanks to cryptocurrencies.

After agencies such as the CNMV or the Bank of Spain warned of the risks of investing in bitcoins, the Treasury has begun to demand information from dozens of banks, intermediaries such as exchange houses and other companies. Once analyzed the information obtained from these requirements, sources from the Tax Agency advise that they will study whether or not they initiate new research and control operations of this controversial sector.

The precedent of 2015

It is not the first time that the Tax Agency is interested in Bitcoin news. In 2015, it sent information requests to companies for which it wanted to know more about its activities with cryptocurrencies. The difference is that the current campaign to collect data affects many more entities (more than 60) and the questions are now much more detailed, explained the Treasury.

The letter sent three years ago asks its recipients if “in the exercise of its activity accepts bitcoin as a means of payment for the services / goods delivered.” If the answer was yes, then it requested information about “the volume of operations collected with bitcoin” or “information and documentary support of the accounting of operations with bitcoin”. Then, the consulted companies were given a period of ten working days to answer and they were notified that “the total or partial neglect” of the request could be “constitutive of tax infringement and give rise to the initiation of the corresponding sanctioning proceeding”.

To the credit entities, the treasury will request information about the accounts of banks with their registered office or branch in Spain. This will come after analyzing the one already obtained by the National Fraud Investigation Office (Onif) on accounts opened abroad by exchange houses that operate with bitcoins. The idea is to find information about accounts that have received or issued transfers linked to cryptocurrency exchanges. Finance looks for data like who is the holder, the number and amount of charges and subscriptions of the same ones and the identification of linked cards.

The ten intermediaries to whom information is requested are exchange houses for bitcoins, entities linked to ATMs or payment gateways. Hacienda will want to know more about its activity, its operations with crypto-currency and data about buyers and sellers, as well as the volume of transactions with this type of currency, exchange rates and fees applied.

Finally, the most numerous group are the more than 40 companies that will be asked about the payments that their clients can make in digital currencies. These will be asked for data on the percentage of billing of these activities, invoices and tickets for these operations.