Starting this week, Ohio companies will have a new way to pay taxes: Bitcoin. The Wall Street newspaper reports (via TechCrunch) that the state of Ohio has opened a cryptocurrency portal, ohiocrypto.com, which will allow companies to pay with digital currency.
The WSJ He says that Ohio seems to be the first state that allows people to pay with a cryptocurrency, and that the idea was born with the state treasurer Josh Mandel. The site's FAQs mention the state's track record with innovation and state that payment via Bitcoin is instant, secure and transparent. It also lists 23 different taxes that companies can pay with Bitcoin, ranging from taxes on cigarettes and tobacco to taxes on fuel and sales.
The website directs companies to enter their state registration number and enter the amount of tax payment and the date of the tax period. From there, they can use their cryptocurrency portfolio to repay their balance. The State Treasurer's office will then use BitPay to process the payment. The website says that businesses that operate and pay taxes in Ohio are eligible – they do not necessarily need to have headquarters in the state. The site says that Bitcoin is the only currency currently accepted, but that it is trying to add more options in the future.
Write for the WSJ, Paul Vigna notes that while the Ohio initiative does not guarantee the legal status of the currency, "it would be a kind of tacit approval that the bitcoin has so far failed". He points out that Arizona, Georgia and Illinois have both considered similar programs, but that they did not do so through their respective legislatures.