Belarus Implements Tax Exemption for Forex Trading
24 November, 2020
With President Alexander Lukashenko signing the Decree No. 503 "On Taxation," Belarus continues to be a promising destination for the over-the-counter (OTC) foreign exchange industry. The decree specifically exempts retail Forex traders from paying taxes on any profits earned from online OTC trading. Though the exemption will be in place indefinitely, this is still great news for traders who have accounts with Belarus-registered brokers, as the country sets the ground for being a Forex hub.
Back in 2014, Belarus imposed taxes on purchasing foreign currency, in response to an increase in demand prompted by the financial crisis in neighbouring Russia. But eventually, more brokers have flocked to Belarus for its friendlier tax regulations on Forex, especially since Russia's crackdown against foreign brokers in early 2018.
Forex Industry's Interest in Belarus Grows
A lesser-known broker called Visuno Capital Limited LLC (Wisuno Capital Limited, or WisunoFX) just recently secured its approval and has already been included in the register of Forex companies. WisunoFX is the latest Forex broker to see potential in Belarus as the trends in retail trading are changing in the eastern European region.
Also worth mentioning is the country's central bank, being the sole regulator controlling all aspects of OTC Forex activities, thus supervising all brokers engaged in transactions with non-deliverable OTC financial instruments. The National Bank reports that the number of its customers more than doubled last year, exceeding 25 thousand people, with 71% being non-residents. The total volume of operations was USD 52 billion (GBP 39.3 billion).
The Future of Forex in Belarus
The tax exemption is expected to boost interest in Forex trading as an alternative to other financial investments for Belarus residents as well, with today's technology offering beginner traders even more opportunities to learn and succeed in the market. FXCM notes how forex trading demo accounts let traders dip their toes into the action risk-free. These platforms allow traders to test-drive their skills and learn by doing - equipped with market-direct data, Forex price charts, and options for indicators and placing orders - but with no real money at risk.
The Industry Spread reports that Belarusian traders now trade using newer platforms too, with the arrival of even more sophisticated multi-asset investment platforms, like RoboForex's R Trader, with which investors can have over 10,000 financial instruments - from foreign currency pairs, stock indices, metals, commodities, and even base assets on stocks of American, German, and Russian companies.
As of October, Belarus' foreign currency reserves increased by 2.2% at USD 164.2 million (GBP 124.2 million), thanks to the National Bank's purchase of foreign currency via the Belarusian Currency Stock Exchange, as seen in a report by BelTA News. The government of Belarus also honoured the foreign and domestic obligations in foreign currency to the amount of about USD 222 million (GBP 167.9 million). The volume of total international reserve assets is expected to make up at least USD 7.3 billion (GBP 5.5 billion) by 1st January 2021, as stated in the country's main monetary guidelines for 2020 - a sign of a bright future ahead for Belarus' foreign exchange industry.
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