Colorado Governor Jared Polis is optimistic that state residents will soon be able to pay their taxes with cryptocurrency. If he gets his way, it could happen sooner, rather than later. Several other states have begun allowing crypto to be used for everything from gambling to paying taxes and, although the transition is slow, more states could embrace crypto payments in the next couple of years.
“I’d be thrilled to be the first state to let you pay your taxes in a variety of cryptos,” Governor Polis said Tuesday at Consensus 2021. As a congressman, he was said to be the first politician to legally accept campaign donations in Bitcoin (BTC) following a favorable 2014 FEC ruling. In response to a US senator who was more interested in banning crypto than building a federal structure to support digital currencies, Polis satirically suggested a ban on US dollars by replacing each instance of BTC in the Senator’s letter with “dollar bills.” He said at the time, “The exchange of dollar bills, including high denomination bills, is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity.”
Since trolling legislators on Capitol Hill, the governor has become the Rocky Mountain State’s chief executive and is enthusiastic about being at the forefront of accommodating legislation for crypto when he discussed crypto at Consensus 2021 yesterday. “Colorado is and will be the center for blockchain innovation in the United States, attracting investments and good jobs and innovators in infrastructure, digital identity, [and] individual data security in the private and public sector,” he said.
One huge step would be to allow Coloradoans to pay state taxes with digital currency, similar to programs that have been initiated in other states, but which are still catching on.
In 2018, companies in Ohio were able to pay taxes through OhioCrypto.com, with processor BitPay converting the digital currency payments to fiat. The Ohio program ended in 2019 under new treasurer Robert Sprague, who said that only a small handful of companies had used OhioCrypto.com to pay their taxes. A program in Seminole County, FL, ended sometime after the county treasurer was removed from office.
Arizona and Illinois considered accepting crypto for tax payments but advocates failed to push through legislation. Wyoming, however, has been rapidly advancing its use of crypto for a variety of functions. With far more infrastructure for digital currency use today, the adoption of state tax payments is very possible. Polis seems enthusiastic about being at the forefront of adoption. He explained that he plans on speaking to Colorado’s director of revenue, Mark Ferrandino, in order to try to get something going.