Missouri legislation would shield cryptocurrency from some taxes

(The Center Square) – Missourians using digital or virtual currencies would be protected from some taxation under a bill introduced in the legislature.

House Bill 2672, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Peters, exempts cryptocurrencies from property tax and securities regulation. The bill defines digital assets in Missouri’s Uniform Commercial Code. It would exempt the sale or use of cryptocurrency from money transmitter licensing requirements.

“My goal is to ensure Missouri is open to innovation and opportunity as Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and blockchain applications come into the market,” Christofanelli said in a statement. “This industry has great potential to enhance Missouri’s push to create greater economic and political freedom and I hope to advance this legislation and further proposals over the next few years.”

The bill adds virtual currencies to several items currently exempt from state, county or local purposes in Missouri law. Those items include government-owned property, non-profit cemeteries, real and personal property used for religious worship, schools and colleges, and charitable organizations.

Virtual currency is defined in the bill as any digital representation of value that’s used as a medium of exchange, unit of account or store of value and is not recognized as legal tender by the U.S. Government. Blockchain is defined as a digital ledger or database that’s chronological, consensus-based, decentralized and mathematically verified.

The bill states a blockchain token will be intangible personal property if used for consumptive purposes, and it wasn’t marketed as a financial investment.

The legislation would require the developer or seller of a token to electronically file a notice of intent with the Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $1,000 to offset administration costs. Token sellers must provide the name of the person acting as the developer or seller, their contact information, comprehensive details on the token made available for sale and any other information required by the Secretary of State.

“This proposal is a first step to protecting the interests of entrepreneurs and consumers in the emerging fields of cryptocurrency and financial technology,” Jeff Wade, the founder and chief executive officer of Crypto World in St. Charles, said in a statement. “By enacting House Bill 2672, Missouri can stem the flow of innovation to other states and countries that have attractive legal and tax frameworks for this emerging industry.”

The bill was introduced on Feb. 10 and hasn’t been assigned to a committee for a hearing.

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