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1  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: December 08, 2014, 07:23:14 PM
did you get any sponsorship or donations from other exchanges which wish to in future or already do operate in EU.

The first part, the written submission, was fully funded by a single donor (a major industry member). Now I'm looking for ways to fund the rest of the process. I have 2.8 bitcoin that I received through crowdfunding but that's all, nothing from any major players.
2  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: December 07, 2014, 08:50:03 PM
I have posted a new update about the case.

tl;dr
  • Germany and Estonia argued against VAT exemption.
  • The EU commission argued in favor of VAT exemption. Their submission also included the "preliminary view" of the UK, also in favor of exemption.
  • I have the possibility to request an oral hearing (but there might be an oral hearing anyway). If there is an oral hearing I'll need to raise more funds.
3  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: August 26, 2014, 06:09:16 PM
I have now posted an update on Reddit. I will also update the original post here to reflect that information.
4  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: August 23, 2014, 10:28:22 PM
There is quite a popular thread on Reddit now on what this case is really about so I will copy the comment that I made there.

Quote
Hedqvist here. It is correct that the dispute in Sweden between Skatteverket and Skatterättsnämnden was regarding the fees. The person from Skatteverket responsible for the appeal made that very clear in a comment in a news article (in Swedish).

Roughly translated: "Our goal is not to add VAT to bitcoins, but there could possibly be VAT on the exchange fee".

BUT, in the last few days I have heard that there is an opinion among lawyers and other experts that "questions referred to the CJEU are formulated so broadly, that they could be interpreted as also pertaining to the sale of bitcoins as such". I don't have the expertise to have an opinion on that, but if that is true it sure makes the case even more important.
5  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: August 22, 2014, 10:59:37 AM
So is the question only about whether (a) or (b) applies?

Yes, that was the disagreement in Sweden between Skatterättsnämnden and Skatteverket, whether VAT should be applied to the commission or not. I guess that question (c) could come up in some of the arguments though if other EU countries choose to intervene in the proceedings.
6  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: August 21, 2014, 08:57:43 PM
sending an email/posting a forum topic asking for money in the first post is a ALWAYS going to look like a money grab. so try to formulate a message that mentions the mission/campaign and the details of the court case that can be verified. add a draft of what basic result you seek from the court (EG. NO VAT and to treat bitcoin merchants as bureau de change, rather then retailers of VAT categorized products)

Good advice, thanks.

Quote
the thing that i find odd is that the EU is even proposing to categorize bitcoins as a VAT rateable product. yet using UK guidelines say bitcoin by its very nature is a raw invention that does not 'add value' to anything that bitcoin was created using.

Actually, the EU isn't proposing anything. In Sweden there was disagreement between Skatterättsnämnden (government agency that give advance rulings in tax questions) and Skatteverket (the tax authority) on how to interpret Article 135(1) in the EU directive on VAT. They were in agreement that exchanging Bitcoin <-> traditional currency was not "consumtion" so they didn't suggest to add VAT to the bitcoins but Skatteverket believes that it should be added to commission taken by e.g. exchanges.

So, the EU court will now decide exactly how to interpret the directive regarding Bitcoin.
7  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: August 21, 2014, 08:22:24 PM
general 'user' donations wil be small. i would look at coinmap/bitpay/coinbase merchants and other services listings pages to find bitcoin business in your country, and ask them to help endorse your campaign

100 businesses donating just 1 btc each is alot easier than trying to ask 10,000 users to donate 0.01 each especially when that $500 per business could potentially save that business thousands later.

Yes, I think that you're right about that. Anyone who can point me to the right person to reach out to at such businesses, please send me a PM or an e-mail. I'm afraid that it'll be lost as spam if I start sending what looks like begging e-mails to info@bitpay, info@bitstamp etc.
8  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Crowdfunding legal costs for case at the EU Court of Justice about Bitcoin/VAT on: August 21, 2014, 07:14:08 PM
Update 26th of August

I have great news! One donor (who wants to remain anonymous for now) has agreed to cover all costs for the written submission that is due in a few weeks. This made it possible for me to hire Mannheimer Swartling, a very reputable Swedish law firm with the necessary experience of the EU court as well as VAT questions related to financial institutions. This means that I am not looking for more funds at this point. We will assess the financial situation again if and when there is an oral hearing coming up. At that point it might be necessary to raise more funds.

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed so far! (money, legal assistance, contacts etc. – I have received a lot of friendly e-mails and phone calls this past week).

I now have a lot of contacts that can offer insight into the situation in other EU countries. I will pass this information on to my lawyer and we will of course try to learn as much as possible about the legal status in other countries but there won't be time to talk to everyone. There is one thing that everyone in other EU countries can do to help and that is to lobby your own government! All EU countries have the oppurtunity to intervene in the case and the more countries we have on our side the better.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original post

As some of you may already know there is an ongoing case regarding Bitcoin and VAT exemption in Sweden and the EU. The Supreme Administrative Court (“Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen”) has now requested a preliminary ruling from the EU Court of Justice. The case, C-264/14, can be found here and has been covered quite a lot in media (Bloomberg, Law360, CoinDesk).

I got involved in this simply by asking for an advance ruling in Sweden because I wanted to start selling bitcoin on my site bitcoin.se. It has now escalated and I find myself in a situation where my case will likely decide if and how VAT should be applied to Bitcoin throughout the EU.

It took me a while to realize the significance of this case and I have to appoint a top law firm team here in Sweden that can prepare a written submission (and we’re short on time here - this has to be done in 3 weeks) as well as a potential oral hearing later on. The Swedish counsel will also cooperate with interested parties throughout Europe to get input and support from other European countries if deemed necessary. I am currently discussing with teams at three of Swedens top firms in VAT and EU-law. After asking about the costs I have received fee estimates that range from 22 000 to 38 000 EUR (approximately 56 to 96 bitcoin at the time of writing).

So here is my problem. There is no way that I can finance this personally. I don’t have enough commercial interest in the case to throw all of my savings on it, the business that we wanted to start on bitcoin.se has not been launched so there is no money there. This is why I am now reaching out to the Bitcoin community.

Disclaimer: Donating is in no way a guarantee that we will win the case but if I can’t raise the money the risks are dramatically increased that I will lose since I will have to deal with the court proceedings on my own (which one of the parties I have discussed the case with has described as “catastrophical” for Bitcoin in Europe).

If the donated money is in excess of the costs I will donate the excess funds to Bitcoin organizations in Europe. If, for some reason, none of the funds raised are used I will return all bitcoins to the sender address (so make sure that you donate from an address that you control!)

-----------------------------------------------------
Please send your donations to this Bitcoin address:
(no more donations necessary at this point)
-----------------------------------------------------

About me
My name is David Hedqvist and have been running bitcoin.se since early 2012. I am a moderator of the Scandinavian forum section at bitcointalk.org and I have also been a moderator at bitcoin.stackexchange.com since its launch.

I will post this message on bitcoin.se, on bitcointalk.org where my name is D.H. and on Reddit where my name is D_H_. If you read about the case on curia.europa.eu or in media you can confirm that the case is about David Hedqvist and bitcoin.se. Feel free to send me a PM or an e-mail to david@bitcoin.se if you have any questions.

You may also contact Dr. Thaer Sabri (thaer@flawlessmoney.com), Chief Executive of Electronic Money Association, to confirm the legitimacy of this fund raiser.
9  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Suomalaisia mainereita on: February 04, 2014, 10:03:42 PM
excluding over 5 million people out, from a naturally formed subforum, because finnish "looks messy" compared to the anglo-saxian languages is just plain irresponsible.

Please don't misquote me like that, I certainly never said that Finnish looks messy compared to the other languages. I said that mixing different languages in the same forum gets messy.

Quote
The ones speaking both english and finnish will help out the ones only speaking finnish and before you know Finland will again be a European first in the next big thing.

You really make it sound like I have something against Finland. This is not about that. We can have a forum in Finnish, a forum in English and/or a forum in Swedish/Danish/Norwegian, it's all fine with me. If we're serious about creating a community with all the Nordic countries the language should probably be English, cause it won't be easy for people from Finland to become part of a community here if 90% of everything is written in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish.

Quote
Get a second opinion, maybe do a poll too, take in the big picture.

I posted the initial guidelines a few weeks ago , in English, and left the thread open for comments and suggestions. But sure, we can have a poll too, no problem.

Quote
The finns like and are liked among the other SCANDINAVIANS.

I know. I specifically called them 'awesome' in the guidelines. Smiley
10  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Suomalaisia mainereita on: February 04, 2014, 07:01:11 PM
Finland is not part of Scandinavia.

This is true (for the most common definition), but not very relevant to the discussion. "Scandinavian" happens to be the name of the forum right now but these local boards are about local communities and if we feel that such a community should include Finland, Iceland etc., then we can just change the name. So please don't turn this thread into a discussion about the definition of Scandinavia. Smiley

11  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Suomalaisia mainereita on: February 03, 2014, 07:36:52 PM
If we make a "Nordic" forum the language would have to be English. Having different languages (that not everybody understands) mixed in the same forum is just messy. So one solution would be two have 2 forums, one "Nordic" where the language is English and one "Scandinavian" where the language is Swedish/Danish/Norwegian.

You are still completely sidestepping the finnish Scandinavians.

I don't mind having a discussion about this but then you'll have to give me a bit more than one-line-answers. Is the problem that there is no place to post in Finnish? That we exclude Finland from the definition of "Scandinavia"? Is it about people living in Denmark, Norway and Sweden that only speak Finnish? Help me out.
12  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Suomalaisia mainereita on: February 03, 2014, 03:15:03 PM
If you do this you will effectively ban the scandinavians who only can speak finnish.

You are absolutedly right, which is a pity considered the well developed Finish tech scene and Bitcoin adoption.
I guess this forum should consider changing its name to "Nordic" in that case.

Make a strong argument for your case, and I am sure the forum will consider the option.

If we make a "Nordic" forum the language would have to be English. Having different languages (that not everybody understands) mixed in the same forum is just messy. So one solution would be two have 2 forums, one "Nordic" where the language is English and one "Scandinavian" where the language is Swedish/Danish/Norwegian.
13  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Posting guidelines on: January 18, 2014, 12:34:55 PM
Har lagt upp ett första förslag på guidelines. Använd gärna den här tråden för att diskutera.

Jag som precis skulle berätta lite om USDe på detta forumet Tongue Så nu är det inte tillåtet längre? Smiley

Det är inte förbjudet att diskutera altcoins. Men starta i så fall en tråd, berätta om vad som är speciellt med denna coin och varför du tycker att den är intressant. Inled en diskussion, publicera inte en "annons", ok?

Jag kommer att gå lite på känsla här, och de "reklammeddelanden" som redan fanns men där folk börjat diskutera har jag låtit vara kvar.
14  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Posting guidelines on: January 17, 2014, 07:51:03 PM
Har lagt upp ett första förslag på guidelines. Använd gärna den här tråden för att diskutera.
15  Local / Skandinavisk / Posting guidelines on: January 17, 2014, 07:50:03 PM
Welcome to the Scandinavian forum! We don't have a lot of rules but

  • Posts should be in Danish, Norwegian or Swedish (or sometimes English, see below for details). The reason that we use the strictest definition of Scandinavia and don't allow posts in Finnish or Icelandic is that we want all posts to be understandable by everyone. One of the main reasons for having this forum is to build a local community and if we would allow other languages we would simply get multiple communities in one forum. But that doesn't mean that all you awesome people from Finland and Iceland are totally banned here, because...

  • Sometimes we allow posts in English. One great example of this would be when our Finnish friends want to have a meetup in Stockholm. Or if someone is going to Sweden for a holiday and wants some help from fellow Bitcoiners. Also, people living in Scandinavia that only speak English but want to connect with Scandinavians are welcome to post in English.

  • Advertisements and announcements of new products and services are generally not allowed unless they specifically target a Scandinavian audience. So, translating an announcement of a random altcoin to one of the Scandinavian languages is not enough, but announcing a new Danish Bitcoin exchange is totally fine.

 
16  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Suomalaisia mainereita on: January 16, 2014, 09:53:15 PM
We have earlier decided that the Scandinavian forum should be in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian only. It's not that we don't like you (we do!) but the fact is that the people in Norway, Sweden and Denmark can understand eachother's languages quite well, while Finnish is impossible for us to understand.

I will try to write a sticky this weekend with some guidelines for the Scandinavian forum and this rule will likely be in there. Feel free to argue against it.
17  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Altcoins-subforum on: January 16, 2014, 09:49:22 PM
Jag ska försöka skriva ihop en "sticky" med några guidelines om vad som är OK på det skandinaviska forumet. Jag lutar åt att vi inte alls tillåter rena "announcements" av altcoins. Det finns bokstavligen hundratals altcoins och intressant information ska inte behöva drunkna i sådant.

Åsikter om annat som bör stå i denna sticky välkomnas förstås.
18  Local / Skandinavisk / Re: Hallo!! on: December 27, 2013, 10:33:56 PM
Everyone, this forum is for discussion in the Scandinavian languages (and sometimes in English for Bitcoin topics related to Scandinavia). This looks like a general discussion in English.
19  Other / Archival / Re: "Skatteverket vill lägga moms på handel med bitcoin" on: December 06, 2013, 07:52:18 PM
Kanske ska ta och reda ut några saker här. Det skatteverket har överklagat handlar om moms på provisionen för företag som köper/säljer bitcoins (växlar bitcoin mot kronor och vice versa), inte om moms på bitcoin i sig. Detta framgår mycket tydligare i DI:s artikel: ”Målet är inte att momsbelägga köpet av Bitcoins. Men det skulle kunna vara moms på själva växlingsavgiften”, slår Martin Loeb fast.

"Skatteverket anser att handel med bitcoin inte medför någon egentlig konsumtion"

hahaha. Fyfan vilka stolpskott.

Det här avser alltså växling bitcoin <-> kronor och det är därför bra och rimligt att de anser att det inte medför någon egentlig konsumtion eftersom det då betyder att det inte ska momsbeläggas.
20  Economy / Service Discussion / Re: BitcoinAverage.com price is false on: November 25, 2013, 03:31:46 PM
The price you're looking at is the "global average", i.e. the average of all currencies. 789.00 is the USD average.
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