After learning that the Tax Authority is studying how crypto-assets are taxed in other countries, at the request of the Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, Diogo Mónica, founder of Anchorage Digital has criticsed the “narrative” that Portugal is losing tax revenue on this front.

“The narrative that Portugal is losing potential revenue by not taxing crypto is short-sighted and ignores the obvious economic value created by the entrepreneurs and companies that have moved here. So, yes, we will find a clear and stable tax regime for digital assets in Portugal, but remember: 45% of taxes on 0 euros is 0 euros”, defends Diogo Mónica in an interview with ECO.

On May 5, ECO reported that the Government has asked the tax authorities for an “assessment” of the way in which other countries tax cryptocurrencies. The objective is to propose a new tax framework, given that Portugal is one of the few countries that still does not tax the profits obtained, for example, from the sale of bitcoins. This is because the current IRS Code does not provide for this phenomenon, which began to spread in 2017 and accelerated at the end of 2020, with the pandemic.

Stroke of luck

“In a stroke of luck, Portugal created one of the best marketing campaigns around attracting technology entrepreneurs to our country”, said Diogo Mónica, founder of Anchorage, a startup that, at the end of 2021, will have achieved the status of “unicorn”, that is, a valuation in excess of a billion dollars.

“Make no mistake: even if there are no taxes, the fiscal situation is not the main reason why people come or stay. In fact, Portugal does not need to offer a special ‘no crypto tax’ incentive to remain attractive to entrepreneurs. Instead, we need clarity, stability and competitiveness”, concludes the entrepreneur, in a note sent to ECO.

First step?

The Tax and Customs Authority is evaluating how other countries are taxing the gains made from the sale of crypto assets. This work is the result of a request from the Government and aims to propose a tax framework for these new instruments, which may represent the first step to start taxing crypto-assets, ending the status of “tax haven” with which Portugal is described as frequently in the international press.