Spanish citizens face a new reporting deadline following the government’s mandate.
The Spanish government has recently issued a new cryptocurrency regulation requiring Spanish residents holding crypto assets on international exchanges to disclose their holdings before March 31, 2024.
The mandate comes as part of the newly enacted law pertaining to taxes on virtual assets. The declaration process is facilitated through the utilization of Form 721 (Modelo 721).
Spain Gets Serious About Cryptos
Published on July 29, 2023, Modelo 721 is a mandatory form introduced by the Spanish Tax Agency (AEAT) to monitor and regulate the ownership and transactions of virtual currencies held abroad by Spanish residents.
The filing period for Form 721 spans from January 1, 2024, to the conclusion of March 2024. Individuals are required to disclose information about the taxpayer’s foreign cryptocurrency holdings, including the type of cryptocurrency, the balance held at each exchange or wallet, and the dates of acquisition and disposal.
Notably, only individuals with foreign cryptocurrency holdings exceeding €50,000 at any point during the calendar year are obligated to file Modelo 721. While this number may seem high, it could be the start of more regulations.
Those utilizing self-custody wallets for asset storage must adhere to the conventional Form 714 for reporting purposes. Failure to file Modelo 721 or providing incomplete or inaccurate information may result in severe penalties.
Spain is making significant strides in regulating cryptocurrencies. In November 2023, the Spanish National Securities Commission (CNMV) took action against Miolos S.L., a domestic provider, for violating cryptocurrency advertising regulations.
Miolos allegedly failed to include mandatory risk warnings in promotional materials and did not seek CNMV’s approval for marketing campaigns.
The AEAT has also increased efforts to collect taxes from crypto asset holders and issued 328,000 warning notices to non-compliant individuals in April 2023.
MiCA Legislation Promises Clarity in Cryptocurrency Regulations
Over the course of 2023, multiple bills have been introduced around the world in great efforts to increase consumer protection, reduce money-laundering risks, and encourage innovations. The Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA), the EU’s cryptocurrency regulatory framework, is the most expected.
Adopted in April this year, the MiCA law is set to take effect in 2024 and Spain plans to implement the law in December 2025. It has wide reaching consequences, and could make the EU less attractive for offshore investors.
The MiCA initiative aims to establish consistent regulations for crypto-assets across the European Union, promoting transparency and security in the rapidly growing cryptocurrency market. It introduces rules for issuers, service providers, and investors to create a more secure environment.
The law also seeks to reduce fragmentation among EU member states and prioritize investor protection. It requires clear disclosure of information to empower investors and addresses licensing for crypto-asset service providers to enhance accountability and facilitate cross-border operations while managing risks.
Additional rules and regulations will likely be introduced in the coming years. Governments and regulatory bodies around the world are recognizing the need to establish comprehensive frameworks to protect consumers, promote responsible innovation, and mitigate potential risks associated with the cryptocurrency market.
Like Spanish regulators, other jurisdictions may refine and expand tax regulations related to cryptocurrency transactions, ensuring that individuals and businesses are fulfilling their tax obligations in the digital asset space.
Stablecoin regulations and cross-border regulatory cooperation are other potential approaches, in addition to common methods like stricter AML/KYC requirements and consumer protection measures.
The collapse of LUNA/Terra last year has raised concerns about the stability of algorithmic stablecoins and the fragility of the crypto market. Regulators may formulate specific guidelines for stablecoin’s issuance, circulation, and redemption to ensure stability and protect users.
Given the global nature of cryptocurrencies, regulatory bodies may enhance collaboration to create harmonized international standards for the industry, reducing regulatory arbitrage and facilitating cross-border transactions.