Parliament Supports Bill Seeking Initiation of Criminal Proceedings against Non-Disclosers of Crypto

A crypto bill was pending consideration before the Parliament of Ukraine concerning crypto disclosures. It was noticed by the Ukrainian Government particularly the tax authorities that several warnings were issued to the public. However, still, the majority of taxpayers, who are also crypto owners, have failed to make full disclosure of their crypto assets with the authorities.

However, the Bill consideration before the Parliament was boosted when the officers in public service too failed to meet the required formalities of disclosures. In fact, it was revealed to the Government that Ukrainian Government officials are one of the leading crypto owners in the public service departments globally.

This news covered on 10th April 2021 by local news outlets in Ukraine which used Opendatabot’s publication for revealing some very interesting facts. It was pointed out in Opedatabot’s survey report that around US$ 2.26 billion worth of crypto assets are owned and in possession of Ukrainian government officials. One of the wealthiest was told to be one Mishalov Vyacheslav Domitrovich who reportedly owned more than 18,000 Bitcoins. He is Deputy Officer at the City Councils Office of Dnipro.

Now the Bill which has been duly approved for publication by the Parliament has been issued under the name called “Verkhovna Rada”. The bill was approved with the majority votes wherein the majority of 243 members voted in favor of the proposed bill.

As was confirmed, the bill has been incorporated into a law seeking to impose penalties upon violators. In addition, the authorities will be entitled to send the violators to jail and may impose fines as well or both be applicable at once.

Through the law, now non-disclosure of crypto assets by taxpayers will be treated as a crime subject to criminal proceedings. For those who are found deliberately violating the law, the Government and its authorities will be free to initiate criminal proceedings against them. These proceedings will be heard first by the magistrate who will impose charges upon the accused. The accused will then have the right to plead guilty or not guilty and then the trial would take place.

The maximum jail time which can be awarded to an offender is a maximum of 2 years. As regards the imposition of fines, the state functionaries have been given unbridled power to impose heavy fines. For instance, a taxpayer may be asked to pay a fine of US$ 162,000 up to 202,950 if found guilty of the offense as charged. In addition, the fine levying authority will have discretionary powers to increase or reduce the number of fines, as the case may be.

The law was supported by the crypto community of Ukraine as well who was earlier asked by the Government to disclose their crypto holdings. However, tax guidelines regarding crypto were applicable to the private sector only and excluded taxpayers from public service. The private sector fully endorsed the bill because they wanted to ensure equal treatment irrespective of whether they were from private or public sectors.