And finally… Kiwi taxman to make crypto wages legal

The New Zealand government has given the green light to companies in the country to legally pay their employees in cryptocurrency, establishing the controversial asset class as a mainstream form of payment.

As of 1st September 2019, New Zealand’s tax authority will allow salaries and wages that are regular, fixed amounts to be paid in digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, according to the Financial Times.

While regulators around the world have experienced difficulties in standardising legal frameworks for digital currenies, the ruling would suggest Wellington’s Inland Revenue have managed to find a way of defining crypto assets as property.

The tax ruling details that the virtual currency of choice should be at least one regular currency that can be converted into a standard form of payment and organisations that opt to pay their employees in cryptocurrency can deduct tax under the country’s pay as you earn income
tax scheme.

A bulletin from New Zealand’s Inland Revenue earlier this month revealed that the ruling would exclude self-employed taxpayers.

Pointing out that cryptocurrency is not legal tender, New Zealand tax authorities say that they intend on taxing crypto-salaries because “some cryptoassets have many of the characteristics of money; for example, being . . . divisible . . . and hard to counterfeit.”