French lawmakers have adopted an amendment to the 2019 budget bill that will cut capital gains tax on bitcoin sales to 30 percent from 36.2 percent. This will bring cryptocurrency transactions in line with other non-real estate assets, which are taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent.
Also Read: Survey: South Africans Turn to Crypto as Hedge Against Volatility of the Rand
Amendment Awaits Approval by Parliament
The budget amendment was adopted by a finance commission in France’s lower house of parliament, a Reuters report said. But it must first be approved “in the final version of the budget bill by the broader parliament in order to become law.” If approved, the new tax will come into force in January.
At one point, cryptocurrency taxes in Europe’s third largest economy reached 45 percent. In April, however, the Council of State said that gains generated from digital assets were to be considered as capital gains of movable property. That meant a significant slash in the tax rate, with the exception of earnings from cryptocurrency mining, which are taxed as non-commercial profits and income resulting from professional activity that is taxed as industrial and commercial profits.
Under president Emmanuel Macron, France is trying to transform itself into a haven for business, including the business of cryptocurrency. Earlier this year, Macron launched the Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation (PACTE) which, among other things, aims to make it easy for companies to operate in France, and to lay out legal guidelines for fund raising via token sales.
In September, the French parliament passed a law setting out guidelines for initial coin offerings. Announcing the new legislation, finance minister Bruno Le Maire said at the time that the legal framework enables the French financial regulator Authorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) to approve and issue permits to businesses intending to float ICOs in France – but only if “those projects provide specific guarantees for investors.”
Issuers will be expected to give full disclosure to the AMF, allowing buyers to make informed decisions about the ICO in question. The French regulator has previously raised concern over the lack of clear regulation on token sales “as an inherent risk factor of ICOs,” heightening the possibility of loss, money laundering and terrorist financing.
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