Cashless Society and Central Bank Digital Currencies: Tax Aspects and Taxpayer Protection

This study addresses the developments surrounding the emergence of societal models where the relevance of traditional means of payment, namely cash, is reduced or outright eliminated and the adoption of payment instruments relying on digital technology platforms is encouraged, the so-called “cashless society”. The path towards a cashless society implies the elimination of cash and its replacement with electronic means of payment and, in the long run, with central bank digital currencies. Questions about the effects of these developments for tax purposes have been, to date, relatively neglected. In this study, the authors will then focus on: (i) the risks for the protection of fundamental rights; (ii) the impact of the cashless society with respect to monetary policies in light of certain tax spillover effects; and (iii) the effect of this evolution toward a fully-fledged cashless society on the structure of the tax system.