This week, the US state of Ohio has launched a crypto payment portal and begun accepting Bitcoin payments for 23 types of taxes. The Treasurer’s Office wrote: “Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency.”
The crypto tax payment portal was set up at Ohiocrypto.com by the office of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. As per the website, companies are not required to be Ohio-based to settle their taxes in digital currency, adding:
“Under the leadership of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, taxpayers are able to pay their state business taxes with cryptocurrency for the first time anywhere in America. Ohio has become the first state in the United States, and one of the first governments in the world, to accept cryptocurrency.”
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that “beginning this week, Ohio businesses will be able to go to the website Ohiocrypto.com and register to pay everything from cigarette sales taxes to employee withholding taxes with bitcoin. Eventually, the initiative will expand to individual filers.”
Eligible taxes include withholding tax, streamlined sales tax, severance tax, sales tax, public utilities tax, seller’s use tax, municipal tax electric light & telephone, premium insurance tax, petroleum activity, pass-thru entity tax, non-resident motor vehicle sales tax, international fuel tax agreement, motor vehicle fuel, natural gas distribution, municipal net profits, kilowatt hour, interest on lawyers trust accounts, financial institution, direct pay permit, consumer’s use, commercial activity, 911 wireless, and cigarette/other tobacco products.
Ohiocrypto.com also enumerates the advantages of paying using cryptocurrency. Firstly, it claims that for taxpayers, it is “quick and easy.” They only need to register on the website, enter tax payment amounts and period dates, then use “your compatible cryptocurrency wallet to pay the invoice with bitcoin.”
Secondly, payments are monitored in “real-time on the blockchain.” Thirdly, they are transparent as “anyone can view all transactions on the blockchain” and safe since “cryptocurrencies cannot be transferred to third parties without user initiation.” Taxpayers can also pay using their tablets or smartphones. “A minimal fee is charged to confirm transactions on the blockchain network,” the site notes.
“Taxpayers can currently pay their taxes with Ohiocrypto.com in bitcoin,” the website clarifies regarding the accepted cryptos, adding “the Treasurer’s office looks forward to adding more cryptocurrencies in the future.” However, the state will not keep any Bitcoin.
“At no point will the Treasurer’s office hold cryptocurrency. Payments made on Ohiocrypto.com, through our third-party cryptocurrency payment processor partner BitPay, are immediately converted to USD before being deposited into a state account,” the Treasury’s Office stated.
BitPay often processes BCH and BTC payments, but because of the November 15 hard fork, BCH payment processing is currently unavailable. “BitPay has temporarily paused bitcoin cash payment processing until we determine that customers can pay safely,” the firm wrote.
To settle taxes using BCH or BTC, taxpayers have to utilize compatible wallets, which both BitPay and the Ohiocrypto website have listed. These include BitPay’s wallet, Electron Cash Wallet, BRD wallet (breadwallet), Bitcoin.com wallet, Bitcoin Core wallet, Electrum wallet, Edge wallet (formerly Airbitz), Btc.com wallet, Copay wallet, and Mycelium wallet.
“First, select the cryptocurrency you’d like to pay in from the drop-down and select either bitcoin or bitcoin cash (currently unavailable at this time),” Ohiocrypto.com’s payment instruction reads, further detailing:
“Our third-party cryptocurrency payment processor locks an exchange rate (USD to BTC or BCH) for 15 minutes. If you do not submit your payment within 15 minutes, then you must restart your transaction – which will include an updated exchange rate.”