UPDATE 4 May 19:00 UTC: Representative Jeff Weninger told CoinDesk that there were insufficient votes for the bill with the cryptocurrency language included. Because Arizona's legislative session ended on May 3, there are no plans to propose a future bill at this time.
Arizona's long-in-the-making cryptocurrency tax payments bill has been further stripped down – so much so that it no longer mentions the technology at all.
The final version of Senate Bill 1091 does not mention cryptocurrencies in any way, despite three previous versions of the bill all specifically including cryptocurrencies as a possible payment method, public filings show. The version of the bill approved by both the House of Representatives and the State Senate does say that the Department of Revenue "may develop, adopt and use a payment system that enables the immediate remittance and collection of tax."
It goes on to explain:
However, it is unclear whether this technology refers to cryptocurrencies or a traditional banking system.
originally sought to enable Arizona's Department of Revenue to collect cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, for tax payments. The bill was introduced in January and quickly passed through several committees before being referred to the House, as previously reported. Committees in the House similarly approved the bill's passage, but it stalled at the beginning of March.
Representative Jeff Weninger, one of the bill's cosponsors, later told CoinDesk that the bill was being modified to become more neutral. While the original version specifically mentioned bitcoin, the new version was supposed to be "agnostic" about which cryptocurrencies could be collected, he explained.
Following the revamp, the bill was approved by the House Rules Committee and sent up to Ways and Means.
However, a new version was passed by the full House at the end of April. Rather than enabling the Department of Revenue to collect taxes through cryptocurrencies, the bill directed the Department to study "whether a taxpayer may pay the taxpayer's income tax liability by using a payment gateway." Possible gateways included bitcoin and litecoin, among other cryptocurrencies.
Senators Warren Petersen and David Farnsworth and Representative Jeff Weninger, the sponsor and cosponsors respectively, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Representative Travis Grantham could not be reached.
Arizona/US flags image via Shutterstock
Read more about
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.