VAT Treatment for the sale of bitcoins


Binding tax ruling V1029-15 issued by the Spanish Tax Directorate (DGT) on March 30, 2015.

This consultation analyse the VAT treatment of the activity consisting of the sale of “bitcoins” through an Internet portal in exchange for a commission.

The DGT understands that the requirements of Article 4 of the Spanish VAT Law are given, to consider this transaction as subject to VAT.

“Be subject to VAT supplies of goods and services carried out within the Spanish VAT territory by entrepreneurs or professionals for consideration, with regular or occasional basis in the development of their business or professional activity, even if made in favour of the members, partners, members or participants of the entities that conduct “.

Similarly, the DGT also understands that, to the extent that applicable to the management of self-employed human and material factors of production or one of them, in order to intervene in the production or distribution of goods or services, is satisfied with the concept of entrepreneur or professional described in Article 5 of the Spanish VAT Law.

Finally, the DGT analyses the possibility of applying the VAT exemption of this operation based on Article 135.1.d) of Directive 2006/112 / EC of 28 November 2006 on the common system of VAT and its transposition to the Spanish VAT Law in its article 20.One.18 letters h) and i).

Directive 2006/112 / EC

“Art. 135.1 Member States shall exempt the following transactions:

d) transactions, including negotiation, concerning deposit and current accounts, payments, transfers, debts, cheques and other negotiable instruments, but excluding debt collection;”


Art. 20.One.18th includes the following exemption:

“h) The transactions concerning transfers, money orders, checks, drafts, promissory notes, bills of exchange, payment card or credit card and other payment orders.


i) The transmission of the effects and money orders referred to the previous letter, including the transmission of discounted bills.

(…). “

Neither the Directive nor the Law on Value Added Tax define the concept of “other negotiable instruments ‘or’ other payment orders,” however, the judgment Granton Advertising, Case C-461/12, it can be concluded that the concept of “other negotiable instruments’ in Article 135.1.d) of Directive 2006/112 / EC is closely linked to payment instruments that allow the transfer of money and as such financial transactions should be exempted from tax.

For these reasons, the DGT estimates that virtual currency Bitcoin act as a means of payment and their characteristics are considered to fall within the concept ‘other negotiable instruments’ so its transmission should be subject but exempt of VAT.

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