Companies operating in the US state of Ohio are now paying their taxes using Bitcoin, according to the treasurer of the state, Robert Sprague. This latest development comes after the state launched its crypto payment platform in December 2018. Sprague did not disclose the details of the companies paying tax in BTC or how much they have spent so far, citing confidentiality.
Ohio to Expand BTC Tax Payment Program
While speaking at a forum organized by the Ohio State Associated Press on Feb. 19, Sprague revealed that the Ohio government is currently reviewing how it might expand the program to ensure that more companies are covered.
Late last year, Ohio became the first US state to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment for taxes, and Sprague admitted that things have been going well so far. He told journalists about his experience with the BTC payment option on their state platform, ohiocrypto.com, which was put in place last year by the former treasurer, Josh Mandel.
Sprague revealed that the state does not actually receive nor hold any crypto. Instead, Bitpay, a Bitcoin payment processing company, was hired to accept Bitcoin and convert it into fiat currency before sending it over to the Ohio state treasury. Bitpay is entitled to 1 percent commission on the transactions as payment for its services.
Sprague further noted that companies that wish to pay taxes in crypto would need to register and create an account with the state’s tax payment platform and submit details about their tax obligations such as the tax period being paid for and outstanding amounts.
Back in December when the project was launched, Sprague pointed out that the move would make it easier for companies to do business in Ohio while also attracting new business. He stated that “We applaud the pilot that makes Ohio more business-friendly and sets us up as a leader in cryptocurrency. We will evaluate both currency and counter-party risk once we enter the office to see about the future.” This doesn’t come as a surprise as lawmakers in the state are looking to turn Ohio into a significant center for crypto and blockchain sector in the United States.
Crypto For Tax and Bill Payment Continues to Gain Adoption
Ohio is not the only place where cryptocurrencies are considered for paying bills and tax. In the United Kingdom, Member of Parliament Eddie Hughes proposed three months ago that taxpayers should be given cryptocurrencies such as BTC as options to pay council tax and utility bills. The legislator representing Walsall North constituency is of the view that the move would place the UK at the forefront of crypto adoption in Europe.
Back then, Hughes stated that “You’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve, and our country is in an interesting position right now – we need to be seen as a progressive country. We are at a crossroads, and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove to be very beneficial.”
Switzerland is one of the leading crypto nations in the world, and its government recently welcomed a tax-exempt blockchain charity. Last week, the Porini Foundation became the first legally registered, tax-exempt blockchain charity in Switzerland, and the government expects more of them.
Regulators all over the world have complained that digital currencies are risky and are allegedly being used to launder money and fund terrorism while placing investor and trader funds at the mercy of fraudsters. However, cryptos continue to gain adoption, and using them as payment options for taxes is a positive move for the cryptocurrency industry. Even though the entry of large corporations and companies is expected to be the main driving force behind crypto adoption, governments venturing into this new sector will also play an important role in driving adoption as well.