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Sandbox for the exchange of cryptoassets and its taxation in Colombia

Jun 17, 2021

Author – Maria Camila Herrera – Associate Lawyer

The Data Sandbox platform is a space created by the Financial Superintendency of Colombia (SuperFinanciera), which allows to develop product innovation processes, business models and new technologies, in an environment controlled by the entity. The purpose of this space is to serve as a laboratory to establish a regulatory and functional framework for supervision, which may eventually result in the adoption of these mechanisms within a legal framework.

This space arises for some supervised entities, and previously approved by the SuperFinanciera to access the pilot project for crypto-assets testing. This pilot will allow entities to carry out cash-in (deposit of funds) and cash-out (withdrawal of funds) operations in financial products related to crypto-asset exchange platforms. In turn, there are nine alliances chosen by the SuperFinanciera that will be able to carry out pilot operations on cryptoassets: Banco de Bogotá – Bitso; Banco de Bogotá – Buda; Bancolombia – Gemini; Coltefinanciera – Obsidiam; Davivienda – Binance; Powwi – Binance; Coink – Banexcoin; Movii – Panda and Movii – Bitpoint.

Although each financial entity has a different model, they all propose the same objective, which is to serve as an intermediary. In this way, in the event that a consumer intends to liquidate his profits obtained through activities with cryptocurrencies, he will be able to convert them automatically into Colombian pesos and deposit these resources in the bank account of his choice.

Faced with the proposed model, the National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN) clarified some elements about the tax treatment that would regulate the pilot. Currently, the DIAN understands these assets as intangible assets, susceptible of being valued, which are part of the patrimony and may lead to taxable income. From the pilot, the DIAN ensures that the tax and withholding generating events, will receive the ordinary and general application corresponding to operations with intangible assets, and indicates that the income from cryptocurrencies may be subject to the tax on financial movements, if the operation involves financial transactions and withholding at source if it involves operations that generate income susceptible of producing an increase or in equity.

Finally, it is important to take into account that the DIAN may adopt a different treatment based on the results of the pilot of cryptocurrencies in the Sandbox, which in turn opens the door to a possible regulation of cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets in the country.

In Abusaid Gomez we are able to provide advice in the technology industry. If you have any questions please contact us at info@abusaidgomez.com or directly to our Partner José Alejandro Abusaid at jose.abusaid@abusaidgomez.com.

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