Russian Ministry of Labor excuses Gov’t Workers from Reporting Cryptocurrency Gains
Jan 11, 2018 Posted / 2510 Views
As per the reports of popular local media outlet Izvestia, the Russian Ministry of Labor’s have updated the income, expenses and property declaration guidelines for government employees. According to the fresh guidelines for reporting the income for 2017 now also includes a point about cryptocurrency. The renewed regulations pronounce that government employees do not need to declare “virtual currencies” they obtained.
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The word about cryptocurrency was appended to an already existent point that asserted that the government employees will not necessarily require submitting report about the “goods and services in their natural forms”, and “as well as virtual currencies” was laconically added to it.
Spokespeople from the Ministry of Labor told regional news outlet RBC that at present they do not need cryptocurrency to be disclosed because of Russia’s prevailing absence of legislation in the space, asserting that
"At present, approaches to the definition and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation at the legislative level are not defined.”
According to the previous laws, the Russian officials were required to make public declarations about their income since 2009. ‘Analysts’ pointed out to the Russian media that the ruling government has doubled the risk of accepting bribes in cryptocurrency that would go undisclosed. The critics view that these kinds of updations completely in oppose to the guidelines stated to the government servants.
Nonetheless, Vladislav Tsepkov of the “Business Against Corruption” Center, an organization which was modelled by the Russian government in 2011 to secure entrepreneurs’ rights, told the media that they saw the risk of government workers taking bribes in crypto as “minimal,” noting:
“But cryptocurrency is not a means of payment, it cannot be spent. If they [government workers] sell it and get real income, then it will need to be declared, so the risks are minimal.”
The news outlet Izvestia noted that according to the same regulations, it is required that government workers report gifts of “real,” or fiat, money from friends or family. It is noteworthy that these changes come at a time when Russian corruption is at an all-time high. According to the figures pertaining to the rising corruption in the country, the media sources noted that it has increased more than thirty percent in Russia since 2008.
The Russian government hitherto needs to create legislation that covers digital currencies in considerable and clear manner. Since last year the country’s government and central bank generally have maintained a cold stance on the crypto-space, terming cryptocurrencies “high risk,” "volatile" and "not safe investments" particularly for mainstream investors.
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