Originally Posted by DrGroove I don't know how it works in Germany, but if you failed to declare significant amounts of income and made unaccounted for deposits to your accounts, you could get in a lot of trouble.
edit: Nvm I assume you just mean holding bitcoins and making purchases with them without ever having them taxed
I can't speak for him but I was assuming that. Similarly you could have a situation where an individual purchased BTC with fiat currency... but then redeemed them for goods/services which otherwise would have been purchased with said currency. Suppose that at the time of the first exchange the rate was US$100:1BTC but at the time of the purchase the rate had climbed to US$200:1BTC. Either twice the amount of goods/services could be purchased for the same price (a material gain) or purchased with half the BTC, thus leaving an unredeemed balance (a unrealized material gain). If the difference were to be once again exchanged into the fiat currency (without tracking on the purchase made with BTC unless voluntarily reported) at a later time when the rate had once again returned to $100:1BTC - this transaction would be indistinguishable from someone buying some BTC and then simply converting half the amount back into the fiat currency... while also receiving an amount equal to that in goods/services (but would appear as a zero sum gain).
Naturally this could work the other way... but unless someone is not only documenting their exchange trades, but also their secondary material gains - I can see no way to tax this reasonably. Additionally, unless the government involved was also providing the tax incentives of declaring losses
(if the above situation were reversed and the rate fell by 50% between the point of exchange and the purchase of goods) - I see no one ever reporting anything.
On the other hand if the exchange itself is being taxed... then I simply see a black market arising to prevent exchange taxes from being able to be collected - and if it hits both sides of the transaction... the 'legitimate' exchanges would lose all of their business as they would be operating at a 25-50% deficit in rates (depending on 1-sided or 2-sided collection). Since crypto-currencies have no geographic or political requirement... that's going to be pretty difficult to pull off.
However, as far as a 'shot across the bow' is concerned... it and the US counterpart are pretty decent really. Could definitely put a dent in the exchange and at least make many people think twice about holding any considerable amount of BTC in the countries concerned.