Russian parliament approves tax relief for issuers of digital assets

MOSCOW, June 28 (Reuters) – Russian lawmakers on Tuesday approved a bill that could exempt issuers of digital assets and cryptocurrencies from value-added tax.

Russia has long expressed skepticism about cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, with the central bank citing concerns over financial stability.

But in February, the regulator granted blockchain platform Atomyze Russia the first license to trade digital assets. A license for dominant lender Sberbank (SBER.MM) soon followed.

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Unprecedented Western sanctions have hit the heart of Russia’s financial system following events in Ukraine, and lawmakers have scrambled to introduce new legislation to soften the blow.

The bill, approved by members of the State Duma in the second and third readings on Tuesday, provides exemptions from value added tax for issuers of digital assets and operators of information systems involved in their emission.

It also establishes tax rates on income derived from the sale of digital assets.

The current rate on transactions is 20%, the same as for standard assets. According to the new law, the tax would be 13% for Russian companies and 15% for foreign companies.

The bill still needs to be reviewed by the upper house and signed by President Vladimir Putin to become law.

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Reporting by Reuters, editing by Louise Heavens

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