States May Accept Bitcoin for Tax Payments

Bitcoin

Tired of paying state taxes in dollars? If bills recently introduced in New Hampshire and Utah pass, those states’ taxes could eventually be paid in bitcoin.

The New Hampshire House of Representative’s Ways and Means committee is considering a bill that would allow New Hampshire to accept bitcoin payments beginning July 1, 2017.  The bill, HB 552, is sponsored by eight representatives, and it would require the state treasurer to develop a plan for the state to accept bitcoin as payment for taxes and fees by identifying a third party payment processor that would process the transactions at no cost to the state.  During debates, representatives raised concerns about bitcoin liquidity and whether accepting bitcoin is a “slippery slope” that will end up with New Hampshire having to accept precious metals or other commodities as payment for taxes.  The debates can be watched online here (day one) and here (day two).  The bill is due out of committee by March 5, 2015.

Utah’s bill, H.C.R. 6, is less specific than New Hampshire’s bill, and merely proposes the creation of a council on Payment Options for State Services to study whether and how the state could accept bitcoin as a valid form of payment in the future.  The current bill does not state when the study must be completed.  Instead, it points out the importance of entrepreneurship and emerging technologies to the State, that major companies already accept bitcoin (i.e., Overstock.com, which is based in Utah), and that bitcoin provides lower transaction fees versus other methods of payment as reasons for going forward with the study.  The bill was introduced by representative Marc Roberts, and was read in the House for the second time on February 24, 2015.  Minutes and audio are available here, and the bill is scheduled for a third reading in the House.

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