With the growing popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, more and more people are getting interested in investing in digital assets. However, due to the relative novelty of such activities, many have questions about the legality of such transactions. In this article, we will figure out whether it is possible to legally buy cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation, and how to quickly implement our plans without any difficulties.
Many crypto-enthusiasts in our country have been waiting for a long time for the legal status of digital coins to become more transparent and understandable. On January 1, 2021, it finally happened. In the Russian Federation, the law ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ was adopted. The document clearly describes what status cryptocurrencies have in the country. The legislators also clarified which transactions with digital assets can and cannot be made.
If you study the legislative documents, it becomes clear that cryptocurrencies have received a legal status in the Russian Federation. According to the definition in the law, it turns out that cryptocurrency is a digital code that is used to:
- make payments;
- save funds;
- invest for the purpose of making profit.
However, not all the above is allowed to do. The law clearly states that in Russia it is impossible to use cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services. That is, it is strictly prohibited to use digital assets as a means of payment.
Fortunately, all other uses of coins are allowed. Therefore, to the question of whether it is possible to legally buy cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation, the answer is absolutely clear - it is possible. For your convenience, here is a complete list of allowed operations. In Russia, cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano and any other coins - from the point of view of the law, they are equal) can be:
- bought and sold;
- used as an investment in order to get an income later;
- bought for long-term storage to save accumulated funds;
- given and left as an inheritance to relatives and close people;
- exchanged for other digital assets;
- used as collateral for leasing property or obtaining services, such as loans.
All the above operations can be carried out without any concerns of their legality.
Why are cryptocurrency payments not allowed in Russia?
It may seem strange that it is possible to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, but not to pay with them. However, if you look deeper, it becomes clear that this prohibition is introduced in order to combat the illegal trafficking of funds. Thus, the government makes attempts to legalize digital assets, but complicate their use for laundering money obtained by illegal methods.
That is why it is not allowed in the Russian Federation to:
- pay with cryptocurrency in stores;
- give out salaries in digital assets;
- accept payment for your own services in cryptocurrencies, even if the transfer is made by a person from another country.
We figured out whether it is possible to sell bitcoins in Russia, and now it is clear that you can buy digital assets without any fears. However, it is also important to know what methods of acquiring coins will not create unnecessary difficulties for you. In fact, all buying methods are legal:
- on large platforms for automated trading between people, such as Binance or Huobi;
- through different types of online services, such as special bots in the Telegram messenger;
- through cryptocurrency ATMs (although there are still very few of them in Russia);
- on p2p platforms designed for direct exchange between two people;
- on special exchange wallets.
The last method deserves special attention, because a citizen of the Russian Federation can easily and quickly buy cryptocurrency through the Broex exchanger. This method should be kept in mind in the first place, especially for beginners. We will consider it in more detail at the end of the article.
Another permitted way of purchase is by cash. This includes buying cryptocurrencies from offline exchangers (usually small companies with their own small offices), as well as from private exchangers that you can find by advertisement.
However, it is not recommended using this method. When buying online, the history of transactions will show how much you have spent on the investment. But after buying coins offline, it is almost impossible to confirm the amount invested in the purchase.
Therefore, in the future, when it comes time to pay income tax, it will be calculated on the entire amount for which you sell digital assets. For example:
- you bought a cryptocurrency for 10 thousand rubles;
- after the growth of the exchange rate, assets were sold for 30 thousand rubles;
- in this case, the tax would be calculated on all 30 thousand rubles - on the amount for which you sold the coins, and the purchase price will be absolutely irrelevant.
It's simply not profitable for you. If you pay for the purchase of cryptocurrency in electronic format, the tax will be significantly less:
- you bought a cryptocurrency for 10 thousand rubles, and if necessary, you could confirm it with the history of transactions;
- after the growth of the rate, assets were sold for 30 thousand rubles;
- in this case, the tax would be calculated only on the net profit, i.e. 20 thousand rubles (the amount received after the sale, minus the amount spent on the purchase).
It turns out that when buying on an online platform, for example, in the Broex exchanger, you will have to pay much less tax. In our example it is reduced by a third.
It is not worth worrying about the fact that income from investing in cryptocurrencies is now taxed. This is even a good thing, because now a citizen of the Russian Federation is free to use the opportunities available to him absolutely calmly, without thinking about how to ‘launder’ the profit afterwards. After all, all income from the sale of digital coins, if the accrued tax is paid on it, are completely "clean", and the tax authorities and employees of other government agencies will not have any questions to you.
Current tax rate
The tax rate on income from cryptocurrency transactions is standard:
- 13% if your income for the reporting year does not exceed 5 million rubles;
- 15%, if you earned more than 5 million rubles during the reporting year (not sold for 5 million rubles, but exactly earned in excess of the invested).
Some readers probably have a question whether it is possible to sell bitcoins in Russia and not pay tax. Unfortunately, there are no such ways yet. However, right now there is a bill under consideration which will allow Russian citizens who earned less than 600 thousand rubles during the reporting year not to pay any tax. It is unknown whether this rule will be adopted in the end.
How the tax is paid
Many beginners in the market are worried about taxes because they have no idea how to pay them, and they think it is a complicated procedure. In fact, everything is simple:
- one fills out a Form NDFL-3 on the Federal Tax Service website or at the FTS office at the place of registration;
- an extract from the wallet is attached, which shows the dates of transactions;
- a printout of exchange rates of cryptocurrencies on the dates of purchases and sales is attached.
Most likely, in the future there will be services that allow you to generate tax reports on cryptocurrencies automatically. But for now, we have to do it manually, filing a tax return every year before April 30.
Of course, now the tax authorities don't keep track of people investing in cryptocurrencies in small amounts (less than 300 thousand rubles per month). Therefore, many people simply do not pay tax, waiting for this procedure to become easier and clearer. However, everyone decides for himself how to act.
Penalties for non-payment of tax
If an inspection discovers the fact of non-payment of taxes, you will have to pay a fine of 40% of the amount of unpaid tax. For example:
- 1 million rubles were earned in the reporting year;
- the citizen decided not to pay the tax, which was supposed to be 130 thousand rubles (13%);
- In this case, the penalty would be 40% of 130 thousand rubles - 52 thousand rubles;
- the citizen would have to pay not only 130 thousand rubles, but also 52 thousand rubles on top.
And if you misrepresent information, for example, to conceal part of the income, and this fact is discovered, you will have to pay a fine of 10% of the amount of real income, regardless of what part of it the citizen tries to hide.
Everyone decides for himself whether to pay income tax or avoid taxation. But it is important to understand that it is possible to legally buy cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation just because of the adopted laws. Without them, cryptocurrency would have a semi-legal status.
Now there is no need to worry about whether it is possible to sell bitcoins in Russia. The main thing is to remember that cryptocurrency cannot be used as a means of payment. Investing in it is not only legal, but in most cases, it is also profitable.
The cryptocurrency exchanger Broex was mentioned above. This platform is the best solution for a user who wants to invest in digital assets without unnecessary difficulties. Broex has several advantages:
- Full legality. The platform is registered in Estonia and has an official license to operate.
- Russian-speaking. Both the interface of the exchanger and technical support are available in Russian. Therefore, it will be very easy to get the hang of the website, and if any questions arise - they can be answered in minutes, because the technical support works around the clock.
- Instant funds depositing. You can replenish your account using a bank card or one of many other methods. The money will be credited immediately.
- Low fees. It is 0.1% of the transaction amount or lower. In many cases there are no fees at all.
In addition, Broex is also a custodial wallet. Your digital assets will be stored by the company, and you can access them via an app on your smartphone or website.
Another advantage of Broex is that the minimum deposit is only 1500 rubles. This allows you to invest with a small amount to start mastering the cryptocurrency market.