A Uruguayan financial regulator issued an ambivalent statement in response to a question about how it views sales of crypto properties – hinting that under the right circumstances, it could allow such measures to move forward .
Per El Observador, the notary of Montevideo Pérez del Castillo & Asociados approached the General management of taxes (known locally as DGI), an agency that responds to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, for advice on the subject.
The outlet noted that a number of “specialist portals” that advertise real estate for sale in exchange for crypto-assets have emerged in the Latin American nation. He added that a growing number of property sellers are also saying they will accept crypto payments.
However, the notary’s request revealed a somewhat mixed response from the DGI on the matter. The agency said such a “sale” would in fact not be a traditional “real estate sale” at all. Instead, it would be classified as an “asset swap” – with “intangible assets” (crypto) being exchanged for a tangible real estate “asset”.
For a “sale” to take place, the DGI noted, the money must change hands. And because the Uruguayan legal system does not recognize digital tokens as having monetary value, crypto cannot be used in legal “sales”.
However, the DGI’s response hinted that crypto may indeed have some form of legal status, albeit that of an “intangible personal good”. This would allow it to be used as a medium of exchange, a fact which, according to mainstream economic theory, means that it fulfills at least one of the characteristics of money.
At no point did he overstate that real estate-to-crypto “swaps” should be discouraged.
Either way, the agency added, an exchange is still a taxable event – and even “exchanges” of encrypted goods must be registered with the. Land Registry Office and taxed accordingly, presumably based on the currency value of the crypto-asset at the time of sale.
The country’s central bank recently said it was preparing to issue a statement on crypto, where it should outline its policy on tokens and how they should be regulated. The statement is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
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