The state of Ohio (U.S.) has announced the suspension of paying taxes with Bitcoin (BTC). According to the announcement published by the Ohio Treasurer, in a meeting of the State Board of Deposit, Robert Sprague, acting treasurer of the state of Ohio, announced the immediate suspension of the OhioCrypto.com website.
The website served as a link for people in Ohio looking to pay their taxes using cryptocurrencies. The Ohio Attorney General is currently formulating a formal opinion on whether the payment method facilitated by third parties constitutes a financial transaction device under Ohio law.
According to Robert Sprague:
It is vital that Ohio explores innovative, new technologies and processes that continue to drive Ohio into the future… However, we must make sure any new processes that are implemented, such as OhioCrypto.com, are established in accordance with Ohio law.
It appears since Mr. Sprague took over the Ohio office, he’s been actively looking into OhioCrypto.com to figure out its operation and how it fits within Ohio law. After careful consideration, Mr. Sprague and his team found that the third party processor BitPay, is actually functioning as a financial transaction device, which means that it must be selected through a competitive selection process and authorized by the State Board of Deposit. Basically similar to going through a licitation process.
Robert Sprague continued saying:
As Ohio Treasurer, it’s my job to provide trusted stewardship and protection of Ohio’s tax dollars, and to follow the laws of this state… Until a formal opinion is issued by the Attorney General, I feel it is prudent to suspend the website.
The decision is not permanent although it’s unclear how long it will take for the attorney general to issue a statement determining which classification is appropriate for this service.