Laos Military Alleges Unpaid Taxes of $20M by Crypto Operators

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Key takeaways:

  • Laos looks to be focusing on the nation’s cryptocurrency industry in an attempt to increase state revenue.
  • The government of Laos will also take 50% of the remaining amount that cryptocurrency companies owe.

Laos looks to be focusing on the nation’s cryptocurrency industry in an attempt to increase state revenue.

The Laos People’s Army News said on November 9th, and according to a report by China’s state news agency Xinhua News, cryptocurrency operators in that Southeast Asian nation owe $20 million in taxes and licensing fees. 

Laos previously gave permission to 15 blockchain startups to mine cryptocurrency or run exchanges in order to increase government revenue sources.

Sonexay Siphandone, the prime minister of Laos, revealed that two businesses involved in the innovative project “made no progress” at all. 

Meanwhile, several people missed their state-mandated payments. Sonexay also pointed out that the price of cryptocurrencies has decreased by 50% overall since the government adjusted the tax duties. 

As a result, the government of Laos will also take 50% of the remaining amount that cryptocurrency companies owe.

Following that ruling, the corporations started paying their costs, and according to Sonexay, it is anticipated that all of the fees would be paid in full by the end of the year. He did, however, issue a warning, stating that businesses that fail to make progress risk having their licenses revoked, operations suspended, or penalized.

This year’s prolonged drought, which lasted from January to June, presented a challenge for Laos’s administration. The catastrophe resulted in numerous fatalities and compelled Électricité du Laos, the state-owned energy distribution business, to halt the electricity supply to the nation’s cryptocurrency mining activities. 

The use of digital technology to create additional fiscal revenue, strengthen foreign exchange reserves, reduce inflation, and promote sustainable economic growth is one of the main principles that the Laotian government articulated in May for its digital transformation.

Between March and May, the FBI seized digital assets valued at around $1.7 million. The FBI took $147,000 in Bitcoin, $800,000 in Ether, $307,000 in Tether, 469,000 in Dai, and $20,000 in Monero.

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