Georgia Becomes Latest State to Consider Bitcoin for Tax Payments

Two state senators in Georgia have proposed a bill that would allow citizens to pay their tax obligations in bitcoin, marking the second legislative effort of its kind to emerge this year.

Public records show that the measure submitted on Feb. 21 by senators Michael Williams and Joshua McKoon would, if passed, tweak the rules governing the state’s Department of Revenue, letting it accept both bitcoin and other as-yet-to-be-defined cryptocurrencies.

“The commissioner shall accept as valid payment for taxes and license fees any cryptocurrency, including but not limited to bitcoin, that uses an electronic peer-to-peer system,” the bill states.

The proposed law largely tracks with another bill that is currently moving through the Arizona legislature. That measure, filed in January, has thus far attracted support by lawmakers in the state, setting up the possibility that Arizona could become the first U.S. state to accept bitcoin for tax payments.

Like Arizona’s bill, the one submitted in Georgia also mandates that tax officials convert those payments into U.S. dollars within a day of receiving them.

“The commissioner shall convert payments made in cryptocurrency to United States dollars at the prevailing rate within 24 hours of his or her receipt of such a payment and shall credit the payor’s account with such converted dollar amount,” it explains.

Despite the encouraging signs out of Arizona, there’s no guarantee that the measure in Georgia will succeed given past opposition to such proposals in other states. As CoinDesk previously reported, a New Hampshire lawmaker advanced a bill that would allow cryptocurrency payments, but the state’s House of Representatives ultimately shot it down in a January 2016 vote.