New Hampshire Legislators Vote Down Law to Permit Tax Payments in Cryptocurrency

Legislators in New Hampshire have voted 17-1 against a bill that would have required the state treasurer, “to develop an implementation plan for the state to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes and fees and allows state agencies to accept payment in cryptocurrencies after July 1, 2020.”

The bill, which was sponsored by Republican Representatives Dennis Acton
and Michael Yakubovich and introduced on January 3rd, 2019, was first determined “inexpedient to legislate” in a vote held November 13th, 2019.

 The decision was confirmed again on January 8th, 2020.

If passed, the bill would have compelled a plan, “to address any accounting, valuation, and management issues relative to the acceptance of cryptocurrency…”

It would have also identified, “an appropriate third party payment processor that will process cryptocurrency transactions at no cost to the state.”

Successful passing of the bill would have required an amendment to a current requirement by the New Hampshire State Treasurer which directs that, “all payments due to the state for services provided shall be paid in ‘United States dollars.'”

Notably, the bill would have, “permit(ted) state agencies to accept such payments,” but would not have made it compulsory for them to do so.

It would also have required, “The Department of Revenue Administration… to work with the e-file vendor to make programming changes.”

Representatives Acton and Yakubovich have been contacted for comment and any remarks they provide will be appended to this article.

In late November 2018, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel enabled the establishment of a portal called OhioCrypto.com.

The portal took tax and fee payments in cryptocurrencies until the program was suspended when Robert Sprague was appointed as Ohio’s new State Treasurer in January 2019.

The decision to suspend OhioCrypto reportedly came after Sprague’s office conducted due diligence reviews of the program and found that OhioCrypto was implemented in an expedited way, without a required competitive selection process and without authorization by the State Board of Deposit.

Cryptocurrency payments to Ohiocrypto.com were immediately converted to standard USD by a company called BitPay. Sprague’s office also determined that, by providing this service, BitPay was functioning as a ‘financial transaction device’ (payments processor) in Ohio without being licensed to do so.

Only about 10 parties had opted to use the portal before the program was canceled.

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