Didi Taihuttu, the patriarch of the so-called “Bitcoin Family,” is settling in Portugal, the ultimate crypto tax haven in Europe. For the Dutch family of five, who has been traveling the world for the past five years, settling down is a major issue.
The Bitcoin family moved to Portugal to avoid taxes on cryptocurrencies
But, after visiting 40 countries, Portugal – one of the last countries in Europe to have a 0% bitcoin tax — was simply too appealing a location to pass up. “In Portugal, you don’t pay any capital gains tax or anything else on cryptocurrencies,” Taihuttu explained. You’re safe as long as you don’t earn cryptocurrencies in Portugal by offering services.
He responded, “That’s a pretty lovely bitcoin heaven.” Taihuttu, his wife, and their three children sold everything they possessed in 2017, swapping a 2,500-square-foot house and nearly all of their earthly goods for bitcoin and a nomadic lifestyle. This was around the time when bitcoin was worth roughly $900. After peaking at over $69,000 in November, the world’s largest cryptocurrency is now trading around $41,000.
While the Taihuttu family won’t reveal the exact size of their crypto fortune, the 43-year-old father of three claims to keep the family’s crypto fortune in secret vaults on four continents, implying that their crypto stake is significant enough to warrant flying across the globe to redeem their decentralized cash.
With such a large crypto investment, the tax benefits in Portugal are undoubtedly attractive, yet it also helps that the country offers a safe and pleasant way of life. The country was ranked fourth on the Global Peace Index in 2021, and it is the finest country for foreigners.
The Bitcoin Family isn’t the only one who has decided to relocate to the Iberian Peninsula. According to the population census of 2021 in Portugal, the number of foreign inhabitants has increased by 40% in the recent decade. Taihuttu’s siblings may potentially follow in his footsteps. Didi’s brother and sister have decided to sell their homes and invest the proceeds in bitcoin.
“We’ll all be traveling together as one big bitcoin family, which is fantastic,” Taihuttu said. Unlike the United States, where virtual currency is treated as property and taxed similarly to stocks or real estate, Portugal considers cryptocurrencies to be a form of payment. When it comes to taxes, that distinction is crucial.
“Capital gains coming from crypto transactions such as cashing out and crypto-to-crypto trades are not subject to personal income taxes,” said Shehan Chandrasekera, a CPA and head of tax strategy at CoinTracker.io, a crypto tax software startup.
This means that gains from buying or selling cryptocurrencies are tax-free, just like gains from other fiat currencies. It also means that cryptocurrency transactions or payments, as well as the conversion of bitcoin into fiat currency, are not subject to VAT.
“This makes Portugal a really appealing destination to reside for crypto users,” Chandrasekera concluded. Only enterprises registered in Portugal that deal in cryptocurrency are exempt from the country’s generous crypto plan. Under some situations, these firms are subject to taxes.
The procedure of gaining residency for the family, according to Taihuttu, was pretty simple and did not require the family to jump through many hoops. The Taihuttus, for example, are regarded as official residents of Portugal despite not owning any property. They are also not needed to spend a set number of days in the country, unlike other crypto tax havens such as Puerto Rico.
Non-EU citizens can apply for permanent residency in Portugal, and non-EU citizens can apply for the golden visa and the D7 Visa (also known as the retirement visa or passive income visa), both of which tend to attract affluent foreigners.
Those who purchase property and/or invest a particular amount of money in Portugal are granted a golden visa. Obtaining a tax identification number, opening a bank account, and legally applying for residency are further procedures to take. Expat application processes are streamlined by companies like Plan B Passport.
“The nice part is that we don’t have to be there.” “It’s an easy setup because there’s no minimum need of staying a day in Portugal,” said Taihuttu, who was based in the Netherlands with his family before embarking on a life on the road.
For Americans, moving to Portugal for a tax-free crypto lifestyle isn’t easy. “If a taxpayer has a green card, is a U.S. citizen, or is a U.S. resident alien, the taxpayer owes U.S. tax on whatever crypto gains they have, regardless of where the crypto or the taxpayer is situated,” Jon Feldhammer, a partner at Baker Botts and a former IRS senior litigator, noted.
“It also makes no difference if they are dual nationals; if they are U.S. citizens, they owe U.S. tax on their international income,” Feldhammer continued.
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