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Arizona Lawmakers Propose to Let People Pay Taxes with Bitcoin



A new bill has been forwarded to the Arizona Senate that would potentially allow people to pay their state tax liabilities with the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.

Arizona Public records indicate that the bill – sponsored by state Senator Warren Petersen and co-sponsored by three other lawmakers – was forwarded for consideration on January 9.

It has since been referred to the Arizona Senate Rules Committee for more deliberation.

According to the text, the measure would make way for the use of “a payment gateway, such as bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, using peer-to-peer systems” in order to pay “tax and any interest and penalties” owed to the state government.

The bill reads:

“The Department [of Revenue] shall convert cryptocurrency payments to United States dollars at the prevailing rate within twenty-four hours after receipt and shall credit the taxpayer’s account with the converted dollar amount.”

Whether the measure gains support in the Arizona legislature remains is unclear.

An identical effort was done in New Hampshire in 2016, but concerns expressed by some state lawmakers – especially around bitcoin’s unpredictable price – ultimately led to the bill being dashed.

Many questions brought up by the committee members focused on the general nature of bitcoin, echoing similar hearings held by states such as New York and New Jersey.

A frequent point of contention was whether the state would incur unnecessary risk by accepting bitcoin as a means of payment or relying on a third party to facilitate bitcoin transactions.

Some members of the panel voiced skepticism about bitcoin as both a currency and a technology, whereas others seemed more open to the concept.

On the other hand, Arizona lawmakers have acted to ratify bills related to the tech in the past.

Last spring, the legislature finalized a bill that identifies blockchain signatures and smart contracts as valid under state law.

Governor Doug Ducey signed the measure into law last March.

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