Revised Bill Suggests Prison Time for Russian Crypto Miners Evading Taxation
A draft law designed to regulate crypto mining in Russia introduces harsh penalties for miners failing to report digital assets to the state. In its latest revision, the bill also threatens to punish those who organize illegal trading of cryptocurrencies with imprisonment and hefty fines.
Forced Labor Awaits Miners and Traders Who Operate Outside Law, According to New Bill
Russian crypto miners will have to report their income and provide tax authorities with detailed information about their digital assets, including wallet addresses, to avoid being prosecuted by the state. That’s according to draft legislation that’s currently undergoing revision in Moscow.
A bill meant to regulate Russia’s growing coin minting industry was initially submitted to parliament in November. However, its adoption was later postponed for this year and lawmakers now plan to resubmit it with amendments envisaging serious consequences for miners that don’t abide by the rules.
The Russian Ministry of Finance, which is working on the changes, now wants to introduce severe punishment for those who evade declaring their crypto. This includes fines in the millions of rubles and prison time, the online news outlet Baza reported.
According to amendments to the Criminal Code prepared by the department, if miners fail to report their income twice in the course of three years and the value is over 15 million rubles (close to $200,000), they will face up to two years of imprisonment, a fine of up to 300,000 rubles, and even forced labor for up to two years.
If the amount of unreported assets exceeds 45 million rubles in fiat equivalent (almost $600,000), the punishment will be harsher — up to four years in prison, a fine that can reach 2 million rubles, and forced labor for up to four years, the report further detailed.
Updated Law Takes Even Stricter Stance on Crypto Trading
Crypto mining enterprises will have two options to sell the extracted cryptocurrency — on a foreign exchange or on a Russian trading platform established under “experimental legal regimes” which are yet to be established. This is something that the Bank of Russia has been insisting on in order to support the legalization of mining.
Exchange operators, banks or other legal entities, will be added to a special register and any coin trading activities outside the described legal framework will be viewed as violations of the law, the penalties for which are even heavier than those prescribed for miners. “Illegal organization of circulation of digital currencies” will lead to prison sentences of up to seven years, a fine of up to 1 million rubles, and forced labor for up to five years.
In the latest version of the mining bill, the authors have also added provisions concerning the prevention of money laundering. According to the texts, cryptocurrency owners “are obliged to provide the authorized body with information on their operations (deals) with digital currency at its request.”
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