Lord Michael Bates, a minister of state within the UK government, addressed the question of digital currency payment in a written response to a question from a member of Parliament, Lord Jonathan Harris. His answer was clarified that the tax authority in the UK, HM Revenue and Customs, will not accept cryptocurrency as payment for bills any time soon:
“HM Revenue and Customs does not offer digital currencies as a payment method and has no current plans to do so.”
Addressing the issue of taxing the profits made from trading cryptocurrency, Lord Bates said:
“These profits are currently chargeable at the normal Capital Gains Tax rates, depending on the facts of the case.”
This could be very relevant for many UK citizens who are looking to cash out their profits made in cryptocurrency, considering that Bitcoin alone has made a 10x return since the beginning of 2017.
In another discussion about the regulation of cryptocurrency, Lord Bates said that the government plans to bring wallet providers and exchanges under anti-money-laundering rules, pending amendments to a European Union directive for which the negotiations should be wrapped up by early 2018. His official statement reads:
“This will require such firms to conduct due diligence upon their customers, with their activities being overseen by national competent authorities for these areas.”