Columbus, Ohio, USA: Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency for official payments. Businesses in the state will be able to make official payments including paying tax bills with bitcoin beginning this week with no transaction limit.
The interested businesses could register in the cryptocurrency portal OhioCrypto.com to pay all bills from cigarette sales taxes to employee withholding taxes. Eventually, the initiative is expected to expand to individual filers.
“Treasurer Mandel believes in leveraging cutting-edge technology to provide Ohioans more options and ease while interfacing with state government. The Treasurer’s office is also working to help make Ohio a national leader in blockchain technology.
Treasurer Mandel has a proven record of leveraging technology to change how citizens interact with government. In 2014, Treasurer Mandel launched OhioCheckbook.com which set a new national standard for government transparency and, for the first time in Ohio history, put all state spending information on the internet. OhioCheckbook.com has earned Ohio the #1 ranking in the country for government transparency as evaluated by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.”
According to the cryptocurrency portal OhioCrypto.com benefits include:
- Quick and easy – Businesses can pay their taxes in three quick steps using the cryptocurrency tax payment portal.
- Real-time tracking – Payments on the blockchain can be tracked on an instantaneous basis.
- Secure payments – Cryptocurrencies cannot be transferred to third parties without user initiation.
- Low fees – A minimal fee is charged to confirm transactions on the blockchain network.
- Transparency – Anyone can view all transactions on the blockchain network.
- Mobile options – Easily make tax payments on your mobile phone or tablet.
“Businesses can pay their taxes with cryptocurrency in three easy steps:
1. Tell us who you are: Not registered to pay taxes through the Treasurer’s office? No problem. Just register online at OhioCrypto.com.
2. Enter tax payment information: Enter business tax payment amount and select the tax period date.
3. Pay with cryptocurrency: Use your cryptocurrency wallet to pay the invoice with Bitcoin. All payments are processed by the Ohio Treasurer’s office third party cryptocurrency payment processor, BitPay.”
The site lists 23 different taxes that businesses can pay with Bitcoin.
- 911 Wireless
- Cigarette / Other Tobacco Products
- Commercial Activity (CAT)
- Consumer’s Use
- Direct Pay Permit
- Financial Institution (FIT)
- Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA)
- International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
- Kilowatt Hour
- Motor Vehicle Fuel (MVFT)
- Municipal Net Profits
- Municipal Tax Electric Light & Telephone
- Natural Gas Distribution (Mcf)
- Non-Resident Motor Vehicle Sales Tax
- Pass-Thru Entity Tax (PTE)
- Petroleum Activity (PAT)
- Premium Insurance Tax
- Public Utilities Tax
- Sales Tax
- Seller’s Use Tax
- Severance Tax
- Streamlined Sales Tax (SST)
- Withholding Tax
Businesses don’t necessarily need to be headquartered in the state, but operating in and paying taxes in Ohio are eligible.
The state has partnered with cryptocurrency payment startup BitPay to handle the tax payments. At present, bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency which is accepted, but the state is looking to add additional options in the future.
The bitcoin program, which is said to be the idea of current Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel, would strengthen the state’s image as a tech-friendly one. It is expected that Mandel’s office will make an announcement on Monday
Other states including Arizona, Georgia, and Illinois reportedly had considered accepting bitcoin for taxes, but they never got approval of state legislatures.