US state of Ohio will let businesses pay taxes with bitcoin

The US state of Ohio will begin letting businesses pay taxes with bitcoin later this week, making it the first state to allow businesses to pay their tax bill with a cryptocurrency. 

Businesses will be able go to the state’s new cryptocurrency portal, ohiocrypto.com, and register to pay for 23 different taxes, ranging from cigarette and tobacco taxes to employee withholding taxes, using bitcoin.

Payments will be handled by Atlanta-based BitPay, a third-party service for blockchain payments.

The facility will initially only accept bitcoin payments and be available to businesses that operate in Ohio. The WSJ reports that it will “eventually” be made available to individual filers as well.

The state also appears to be open to the idea of adding support for payment with other cryptocurrencies. The state’s cryptocurrency website says it “looks forward to adding more cryptocurrencies in the future.” 

The idea was pioneered by Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel. Mandel told the WSJ “I do see as a legitimate form of currency.”

This is promising news for the cryptocurrency community as bitcoin has not gained broad acceptance yet as a form of payment. 

As the WSJ report notes: “Ohio’s move wouldn’t give bitcoin legal status, but it would be a kind of tacit approval bitcoin has so far lacked. Tax offices accepting bitcoin “does help send a message that bitcoin’s a technology that can be used by anybody—by bad guys but also by the government,” said Jerry Brito, the director of Washington, D.C.-based research firm Coin Center.”