Brazil RFB to Investigate Foreign Crypto Exchanges: Report

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Receita Federal do Brasil (RFB), the tax authority of Brazil, is preparing to conduct an examination of foreign cryptocurrency exchanges that are operating within its borders. This initiative follows the implementation of new tax regulations to guarantee that Brazilian citizens fulfill their fiscal obligations with respect to their crypto earnings.

Brazil Authorities to issue an Ordinance

The RFB is expected to issue an ordinance this week that will require foreign crypto firms to reveal data about their operations in Brazil, a Reuters report said on June 18. The significance of this inquiry was underscored by Andrea Chaves, the Deputy Secretary of Inspection at the RFB.

Chaves stated to Reuters, “It is a matter of concern for us to first comprehend the manner in which they operate in this location, and whether there is any illegal activity.” She also stated that the authority is interested in collecting data on Brazilian assets that are subject to taxation.

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Significant Change in the Regulatory Environment

This directive represents a significant change in the regulatory environment of Brazil. Previously, transactions were only obliged to be reported by local cryptocurrency exchanges. 

The new ordinance will extend these obligations to foreign platforms, in accordance with the country’s most recent tax law, which was enacted in December. Profits and dividends from cryptocurrency transactions on foreign exchanges are subject to a 15% income tax under this legislation.

The RFB’s initiative is a component of a more comprehensive strategy to improve revenue collection and tax compliance. The authority’s objective is to accumulate approximately $4 billion (20 billion Brazilian reals) from crypto-related activities during the 2024 fiscal year. 

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This action is indicative of Brazil’s proactive approach to regulating the cryptocurrency market, which has experienced a substantial increase in trading activity.

Brazil Crypto Market Surges by 30% YoY

Trading volumes in the Brazil crypto market have surged by 30% year-over-year to $6 billion between January and May 2024, demonstrating remarkable expansion. Brazil is the seventh-largest global participant in terms of fiat currency trade and the largest crypto market player in Latin America. The country’s crypto activity is primarily dominated by stablecoin transfers.

Major global crypto exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, OKX, and KuCoin, have established a presence in Brazil. Despite the growing competition from local platforms such as Mercado Bitcoin and Bitso, which are based in Mexico, Binance continues to maintain a significant market share, accounting for 79% of all crypto transactions in the country.

Nevertheless, the RFB seeks to pursue greater transparency and it is anticipated that the ordinance will illuminate the operational dynamics of these platforms, guaranteeing that they comply with Brazil’s regulatory framework. The objective of this heightened scrutiny is to prevent illicit activities and guarantee that crypto earnings are taxed appropriately.

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