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article imageState of Georgia considers bill to allow cryptocoins to pay taxes

By Ken Hanly     Feb 24, 2018 in Technology
Atlanta - Two state senators in Georgia have proposed a bill that would allow citizens to pay their tax obligations in bitcoin or other cryptocoins not yet specified.
The Georgia bill
The bill was introduced by senators Michael Williams and Joshua McKoon. It would allow the state Department of Revenue to accept bitcoin and other as yet unspecified cryptocoins to be used for payment of taxes. The bill was submitted on February 21.
The bill says: "The commissioner shall accept as valid payment for taxes and license fees any cryptocurrency, including but not limited to bitcoin, that uses an electronic peer-to-peer system."
Tax officials are to convert the payments into US funds within a day of receiving them and will credit the the payors' account with the amount. This would protect the state from any possible loss due to a decline in the value of bitcoin over the day. It could result in a credit if the value went up.
There is no guarantee that the bill will pass.
New Hampshire bill fails
In January of last year a bill was voted on in the New Hampshire House of Representatives that would have allowed citizens to pay their taxes using bitcoin. But on the 20th of January 2016 a vote of 264 to 74 killed the bill just over a year from when the bill was introduced. The bill was introduced by Representative Eric Schielen in January of 2015.
Opponents raised questions about exchange rate risks the state might face due to the extreme volatility of bitcoin prices. A subcommittee that studied the issue recommended the bill not be passed.
Schielen was working with those who supported the bill and he said he would submit a similar bill in two years. He said that more education and outreach was needed to pass such legislation.
The Arizona bill
The Arizona bill is sponsored by state Senator Warren Petersen and three others. It was submitted for consideration on January 9 and was then referred to the Arizona Senate Rules Committee for further consideration. The Georgia bill is modeled on the Arizona legislation.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be used to pay taxes interest and penalties that are owed to the Arizona government. As with the Georgia bill, the cryptocoins are to be converted to US dollars within 24 hours.
Arizona has approved other tech-related bills in the past. In the spring of 2017, the legislature passed laws recognizing the legality of blockchain signatures and smart contracts under state law. Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law last March.
It remains to be seen whether Arizona or Georgia actually manage to have the bills passed into law. According to the appended video, the Arizona Senate has passed its bill but it still has to go through the House.
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