New Zealand legalizes salary payments in Bitcoin

Did you know that if you live in New Zealand -- you cannot get your salary paid in gold? Nope. Your employer, at the end of the month, cannot roll up to your desk and drop a sack of gold coins on your desk. Even if you are a pirate -- they can’t do it. It is illegal. But … you know what IS legal?

Date: 
August 16, 2019
Read time: 
2 minutes

New Zealand legalizes salary payments in Bitcoin

Date: 
August 16, 2019
Read time: 
2 minutes

Did you know that if you live in New Zealand -- you cannot get your salary paid in gold? Nope. Your employer, at the end of the month, cannot roll up to your desk and drop a sack of gold coins on your desk. Even if you are a pirate -- they can’t do it. It is illegal. But … you know what IS legal?

Did you know that if you live in New Zealand -- you cannot get your salary paid in gold? Nope. Your employer, at the end of the month, cannot roll up to your desk and drop a sack of gold coins on your desk. Even if you are a pirate -- they can’t do it. It is illegal. But … you know what IS legal?

What does all that mean? Well -- I can see a future where my tax returns include options for cryptocurrencies. It’ll be a rough road -- but we’ll get there. 

In New Zealand, if you ask for it, your employer can legally pay your salary in Bitcoin. That’s a big step for what many call “digital gold.”

Now, there are a few requirements. An article by Business Insider writes that “the country requires the preferred cryptocurrency to be pegged to a standard currency and directly convertible into a normal form of payment. This stipulation allows bitcoin to replace the New Zealand dollar on workers' paychecks.

Wow. Quite a big step. The country’s official sovereign currency -- which people use to buy bread and butter -- can be substituted by Bitcoin. Moreover, “companies paying workers in cryptocurrency can deduct income tax through the country's pay-as-you-earn plan.

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This monumental decision was originally included in an August 7 note. The same note went into depth about New Zealand's plans to allow bonuses to be paid out in cryptocurrency.

Employee’s will, of course, still need to pay taxes under the nation's income tax scheme. Also, unfortunately, the August 7th note excludes self-employed workers from switching their income to Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. So no shenanigans there.

But what a big win, huh? New Zealand just made a historic move -- one sure to be recorded in the history books. It’s "another step towards governments recognizing that actually people are wanting to be paid in" cryptocurrencies, writes Thomas Hulme, a solicitor at London-based law firm Mackrell Turner Garrett.

The Financial Times further reports that “Bitcoin currently trades at a 19-month high, surging as investors flee stocks on trade-war fears. It's still down about 42% from its record high price of nearly $20,000 per coin in December 2017.

What does all that mean? Well -- I can see a future where my tax returns include options for cryptocurrencies. It’ll be a rough road -- but we’ll get there. 

Posted by R.R. Hauxley

R.R. Hauxley traveled around the world ... 1 year on 1 Bitcoin. 20 countries, 12 months, 1 Bitcoin. He wrote a book about it: Stolen Wallets and Where to Buy Them. Along the way he met and interviewed the sharpest, brightest minds in crypto today: Vitalik Buterin, Charlie Lee, and more. Today Rafael educates the crypto curious and delves further into the incredible world of blockchain.

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