There is currently no specific crypto regulation in Austria. However, the FMA is considering crypto assets under its AML regulations.
Crypto compliance in Austria quick guide
This quick guide gives you quick insights into the regulation of crypto assets in Austria.
Crypto and AML regulation in Austria
Austria transposed the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5) into national law. To this end, it has accordingly amended its Financial Markets Anti-Money Laundering Act (FM-GwG). The amended act gives the following definition of virtual assets:
- Virtual currencies: “a digital representation of value that is not issued or guaranteed by a central bank or a public authority, is not necessarily attached to a legally established currency and does not possess a legal status of currency or money, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange and which can be transferred, stored and traded electronically.”
The amended act also includes VASPs as obliged entities under the requirements set forth in the AMLD5. The legislation defines VASPs as “providers in relation to virtual currencies offering one or more of the following services:
- services to safeguard private cryptographic keys, to hold, store and transfer virtual currencies on behalf of a customer (custodian wallet providers);
- exchanging of virtual currencies into fiat currencies and vice versa;
- exchanging or one or more virtual currencies between one another;
- transferring of virtual currencies;
- the provision of financial services for the issuance and selling of virtual currencies.”
Following the amendment, the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) became the competent authority to supervise crypto service providers. The main AML/CFT obligations crypto service providers have to follow include:
- Appropriate record-keeping;
- Reporting to the FMA;
- Customer due diligence (PEPs, high-risk countries, etc.);
- Transaction monitoring.
On top of that, crypto service providers must register with the FMA. Offering crypto services in Austria without proper registration is an administrative offense. It can result in fines of up to 200,000 EUR.
Crypto compliance in Austria and blockchain analytics
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Tax treatment of crypto assets
In Austria, crypto taxation concerns crypto assets defined by the Austrian Income Tax Act. But, it does not include nonfungible tokens (NFT) and tokens underpinned by real assets.
The Environmentally Responsible Tax Reform of crypto taxation was enforced this year in March. Since the reform, crypto-assets acquired after February 28, 2021, are under specific taxation rules. The new rules consider crypto-asset holdings as income from capital assets and have a 27.5% tax rate.
Crypto assets acquired before February 28, 2021, are treated as pre-existing holdings and not under the scope of the Reform. The previous tax rules apply to these assets. A stock tax rate of 27.5% applies when crypto-assets are sold for fiat, spent on goods and services, or mined.
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