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Potential Illinois bill could allow tax payments with cryptocurrency

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A bill introduced in Illinois could soon allow state residents to pay their taxes using cryptocurrency.

Illinois State Representative Michael J. Zalewski introduced Ilinois House Bill 5335 on March 5. The bill, assigned to the state’s Revenue & Finance committee, proposes that the Department of Revenue, “convert such payments to United States dollars at the prevailing rate within 24 hours after receipt of the payment and shall credit the taxpayer’s account with the converted dollar amount.”

The proposed bill dubbed the ‘Bitcoin Bill’, follows in the footsteps of similar bills introduced in the Arizona and Georgia Senate earlier this year.

The bill introduced in Arizona has already passed Senate and is currently making its way through the House. Georgia’s bill, however, hasn’t fared as well. The bill, S.B. 464, was filed a week before Georgia’s legislature ‘crossover day’ which under Senate rules means any bill that doesn’t advance past the crossover day — in this case, Feb. 28 — can’t be discussed. By all indications, the bill is more than likely dead for 2018.

As cryptocurrency continues to enter the mainstream, more state legislatures want to stay on top of the growing trend. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 19 states have introduced bills centered on cryptocurrency.

Illinois ‘Bitcoin Bill’ still has a long way to go. Zalewski, speaking to the Chicago Reader, said there’s still, “plenty of work to do on the bill, that’s why it’s filed as a discussion topic. We’re at the spear of the tip of technology here.”

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