The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of New Zealand has requested that crypto companies in the country hand over their customers’ personal details, cryptocurrency asset values as well as the type of asset held.
According to a September 28 report by Radio New Zealand, the tax agency says it wants to improve its understanding of the digital asset industry “so we can work out how best to help taxpayers meet their income tax obligations.”
New Zealand firms might not have legal grounds to refuse the request, says the report. In the island nation, virtual currencies are treated as a form of property, just like in the U.S. Tax is paid with every sale, trade, exchange, or lending activity. Crypto mining and staking are also taxed.
The IRD’s latest move drew criticism from industry participants. Janine Grainger, chief executive officer of New-Zealand-based Easy Crypto, told Radio New Zealand that the requirement to share customer details was “heartbreaking”.
She noted how the tax authority’s move was an attempt to shore up its coffers from a rapidly growing local crypto industry, but emphasized that “privacy is really important to us”. Grainger opined:
While many people might think ‘I have nothing to hide therefore, what do I care?’ the point of privacy isn’t to aid people who have something to hide, it’s to ensure we have a fair, open and free society.
Regulators throughout the world are moving to tighten their control on the cryptocurrency industry. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been sending warning letters to crypto investors seeking clarity about whether they had reported their transactions correctly.
What do you think about the New Zealand tax agency attempting to get crypto investors’ personal details? Let us know in the comments section below.
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