Spanish Tax Watchdog Tightens Cryptocurrency Oversight Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

The dreadful situation in Spain caused by the COVID-19 outbreak is not delaying local authorities to send notices to taxpayers. Those include traders and investors in cryptocurrencies, who have quadrupled in the past year to 66,000.

Spain To Tax 66k Crypto Investors

The Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Estatal de Administracion Tributaria or AEAT) began sending the notices on April 1st and will continue until June 30th, according to a local report.

AEAT has been increasing the number of notices for a few consecutive years now. This includes individuals operating with cryptocurrencies.

Last year the watchdog sent 14,700 notices to such investors. This year, the number has skyrocketed to approximately 66,000. The rapid rise signals the increased interest in digital assets from Spanish citizens.

Reports from 2018 indicated that the agency targeted mostly companies associated with cryptocurrencies. At the time, those included financial firms, intermediaries such as cryptocurrency exchanges and ATMs, and companies accepting digital assets as a payment option. An analysis from the National Office of Fraud Investigation (ONIF) pointed out that only 16 such entities were registered in Spain back then.

No COVID-19 Delay

AEAT’s notices will go as plan, despite the coronavirus outbreak, which is particularly harmful in Spain. While confirmed cases worldwide surpassed one million, the Iberian nation is at third place in this adverse ranking. With over 110,000 cases, Spain is trailing only to Italy and the U.S.

Maria Jose Sierra, a spokesperson from the Spanish Health ministry’s emergency co-ordination unit, however, informed that the number of new cases is stabilizing now:

“We continue with an increase of around 8%. This points, as we have already seen, to a stabilization in the data that we’re registering.”

Spain Covid-19 cases. April 3rd. Source:
Spain Covid-19 cases. April 3rd. Source:

What’s more troubling for the country, though, is the death toll. With 950 cases in the past 24 hours, the total number passed 10,000, making Spain the second-worst hit in this manner. This represents a death rate of close to 10%. It’s a lot higher than the previously established rate of 3.4%.

Aside from the health effect on people’s lives, the nation-wide lockdown is causing numerous issues for the economy. Nearly 900,000 residents have lost their jobs in the past few weeks.

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