Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others are gaining lots of attention in recent times. So many countries have special taxation for cryptocurrencies. In this article, we'll tell you how these cryptocurrencies have been taxed and also how other cryptos are taxed in different countries.
Bitcoin Taxation Guide
Notice 2014-21 asserts that taxpayers should recognize cash or other property gains or losses in the exchange of cryptocurrency. This view suggests that whether cryptocurrency is used as a store of value or unit of exchange, it is subject to taxation as the same thing for taxation purposes - a capital asset. The type of transaction and length of time the asset has been held all matter when understanding how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are taxed.
Capital gains and losses are categorized as long-term or short-term. The period digital assets were held must be considered before arriving at your net capital gains or losses. Generally, your capital gain or loss is long-term if you have the asset for over one year before selling or 'cashing out'.
Your capital gains or losses are short-term if they are held for any period of less than a year. Determining the period you have held an asset, count the number of days from the day after the asset was acquired to the day of disposal.
Specific rules or guidance on the taxation of digital assets have been provided in different states. In the United Kingdom, for example, when the result of mining was not taxable, the market value of the assets received was taxable under miscellaneous income. Similar to other jurisdictions, when miners sell their crypto, they will be subject to capital gains tax.
Cryptocurrency Taxes and Central Authorities
An interesting relationship is building up between the crypto space and the US Government. One case that has the crypto world rattled is the Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry into Ripple. It is logical for the government to be uncomfortable with the popular adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Superficially, Bitcoin and other coins have been associated with the nefarious. Furthermore, central authorities must be anxious about ceding monetary control to a decentralized network although this is yet to happen. Cryptocurrencies are also quite volatile, a view that has been emphasized by critics of the decentralized financial system.
In recent years Bitcoin and its competing forms of cryptocurrency, also known as altcoins, have seen record growth, leaving many investors and their tax consultants undecided and surprised during tax season. Some have had to put their returns on extension as they sought further guidance from the IRS. Many others faced unexpected tax liabilities largely because of the misconceptions around the taxation of cryptocurrencies.
Digital currency uses encryption systems to create, exchange, and transfer units of currency, a role that would traditionally be performed by a central bank. Normal cash transactions are validated by banks and other central authorities but no such authority is exercised for digital money. Virtual transactions are instead recorded in a publicly accessible ledger.
Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was the first and most widely used cryptocurrency. Altcoins, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and many more have since become massively popular. Bitcoin has made waves in the financial technology and currency spaces by successfully maintaining a decentralized yet safe digital monetary solution just as Blockchain technology has disrupted traditional ledger techniques.
Bitcoin miners use their PCs to solve open-source algorithms that help create orderly and verified transactions. This mathematical authority rewards Bitcoin miners for their hard work and in proportion to their effort.
Taxation of Cryptocurrency
Although crypto exchanges have seen a boom in the market, experts remain adamant that cryptocurrency usage will increase and that tax consultants should be properly versed to understand and inform consumers on the tax implications of such virtual assets.
Bitcoin's resilience has demonstrated its success in the cryptocurrency space as both a network and currency. In times when digital currencies are popular, the world has seen the timeliness and economic efficiency of blockchain payments. Authorities have likewise recognized a gradual but significant insertion of Bitcoin into conventional financial institutions.
The largest chunk of Bitcoin transactions is now transparent, debunking the original claims of total anonymity. In the past, governments have seen storms of Bitcoin-based black-market trading. Bitcoin traders are now subject to anti-money laundering obligations to prevent the ire of the regulators from drawing on.
In the crypto world, taxes are perhaps the biggest changes seen outside the confines of technology. Everyone has different views on how to categorize Bitcoin. Most suggestions view Bitcoin-like coins either as currencies or commodities.
Interestingly, regulators, central banks, and federal agents seem to agree that cryptocurrencies should be taxed. Most major countries have also developed similar tax regimes on cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin Taxes in the Netherlands
Bitcoin mining and trading are taxable in the Netherlands under box 1 of the income tax act if they qualify as a source of income, such as benefit or a product of some action. Menno Snel, the State Secretary for Finance, says that mining and selling of cryptocurrencies by a private citizen are unlikely to count as a source of income in general. On the other hand, if structurally beneficial outcomes can be clarified by doing work that goes beyond speculation, it qualifies as a source of income.
Due to the fact that this generally does not extend to private persons, cryptocurrencies are treated as securities in these instances and are taxed under box 3 of the personal income tax act.
Not direct investments and investment gains, but an estimated rate of return on net assets is taxable in box 3. Net capital is calculated once a year on January 1st. Capital gains are then levied at a 30% rate.
Though ICOs are generally permitted in the Netherlands, the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) warns against investing in them at the moment due to their "vulnerability to misrepresentation, fraud, and manipulation." Nonetheless, the AFM states that this guidance must be considered independently of its position on ICOs and is motivated by a number of risks associated with the increased popularity of ICOs.
See also: Best Crypto Banks
Bitcoin Taxation in Canada
Cryptocurrencies may have taken a back seat this year as a result of the onset of a global health crisis. Bitcoin, for example, continues to play an essential role. The Canada Revenue Agency's (CRA) Interpretation Bulletins and Information Circulars make no clear reference to the Bitcoin tax. It has, however, addressed income tax decisions and technical interpretation in order to decide whether transactions involving cryptocurrencies are taxable.
A new Bitcoin tax hasn't been imposed as of yet, although it may depend on how it is used.
When it comes to the Income Tax Act, the CRA treats cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as resources. Generally, the government department considers revenue from Bitcoin transactions as capital gains or business income, depending on the circumstances surrounding the transaction.
Taxpayers must determine if all of their cryptocurrency operation is capital or profits, as this will impact how their revenue is treated for income tax purposes.
Assume you use bitcoins to pay for products or services from a company willing to accept a certain amount of Bitcoin in return for their goods or services. The CRA would then treat the transaction as a barter transaction for income tax purposes.
When two parties trade goods or services without using legal money, this is referred to as a barter transaction.
Generally, the CRA would value certain cryptocurrency transactions based on the value of the underlying products and services, rather than the maximum market price for that sum of cryptocurrency.
If you are an investor looking to gain exposure to Bitcoin without being entangled in perplexing tax situations, you might want to try investing in a crypto stock such as Hut 8. Any tax consequences associated with owning shares in Hut 8 would be consistent with those associated with other stocks in your investment portfolio
See also: Best Bitcoin Interest Accounts
Bitcoin Taxes in the United States
Cryptocurrencies are usually taxed in the same manner as other commodities produced for tax purposes. But speculators buy Bitcoin and hold for the value to increase. How should they be taxed? Accountants would also be interested in knowing how to report on cryptocurrencies.
To get a clear picture of what taxation of cryptocurrency means, let's look at a literal example. If you bought $200 worth of Bitcoin at the start of 2020 and bought a Tesla after your Bitcoin hit $2000, you will need to declare a gain in the value of $1800.
It does not seem like much until you realize that if you constantly buy using Bitcoin, you will have to declare each rise in value for each purchase made throughout the year.
Each grocery payment or bitcoin exchange for whatever purpose is considered a "trade" by your government.
Many vendors and individuals who receive bitcoin as payment for services are also required to declare the value of such payment in their operating currency. If a consultant receives 1 bitcoin as payment on a day when 1 BTC equals $4000, a declaration of $4000 in income should be made.
Cryptocurrency Taxes in Germany
In Germany, crypto assets are defined as financial instruments. Mining and subsequent sale of tokens are generally not under the jurisdiction of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority.
The German Federal Ministry of Finance considers Bitcoin mining a non-taxable transaction under value-added tax law by 2018.As far as how mining income is treated for tax purposes, German authorities are still developing tax mechanisms.
The tax policies in Germany are quite interesting. For one, crypto is treated as private money meaning that individuals that make sales under 600 Euros are exempt from tax under tax law 23 EStG.
Germany also deviates from the IRS version of things. If you buy 200 € worth of bitcoin and later dispose at 2000 €, you will not be taxed on the 1800 € gains. The same principle holds for both short-term and long-term increases in the value of your cryptocurrency.
Under Section23 of the German Income Tax Act, income tax applies to crypto sold after less than one year. In this case, crypto is treated in the same way as ordinary intangible assets. Section 22 of the same Act addresses crypto trading. The net amount gained or lost at the time of the sale shall be liable for tax. This applies whether you are trading one cryptocurrency for another crypto or if you are trading crypto into fiat currency.
Payments made using bitcoin are subject to the same laws as crypto trading. This is probably the only similarity between the US and German tax policies on digital assets.
See also: Shorting Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin Taxes in Malta
Malta generally categorizes Bitcoin-like assets as coins or tokens for taxation purposes. Cryptocurrencies designed solely for payment, as units of exchange or to operate as a value store, are recognized as "coins".
Coins receive the same tax treatment as fiat or conventional currency transactions. Coins, therefore, fall outside the confines of income tax and duty. Malta does not therefore tax gains on isolated transfers.
Where the coins have been transferred as part of a coin trade, profits made by that business will attract a standard Maltese income tax rate of 35%. This rate can reduce to about 5% or nil with the use of structuring options provided by the Maltese full imputation system.
In Malta, a token created by a decentralized ledger system for usage and access to software features on that platform would qualify as a utility token. For utility tokens, no income tax or duty is paid for non-business transfers.
However, profit from exchanges in utility tokens will be treated as trading income taxable at 35%. The full imputation system is also available for this tax classification.
Token-generation events do not attract VAT in Malta. Generally, no impact on VAT can be implied when there is no clear identification of the good or service to which a utility token is issued.
It's worthy to buy bitcoin and pay taxes?
The advent of electronic technology has been one that has forever changed the world. With the creation and introduction of blockchain technology, some scientists predict that we are now on the cusp of another “revolution”, perhaps greater than any other in today’s world. The “value” of Bitcoin started to develop along with its popularity when records did not keep track of people buying it as an asset but rather for what it was intended - to be used as currency to purchase goods and services online.
Crypto Tax calculators
After learning the ropes of crypto trading, many people are surprised that they have to pay tax on their holdings. This is why crypto tax calculators are valuable. Here’s a list of some of the available tools:
It is user-centric. It contains educational material. Additionally, it includes a cryptocurrency tracker app and a cryptocurrency tax program that generates customized outputs for the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as every other country that uses the FIFO or LIFO tax method.
2. Token Tax
This platform is mostly targeted at English-speaking nations, so you will have no difficulty whether you are from the United States, Canada, or Australia. They manage a variety of tax strategies, and for a fee, you can purchase a tax kit that includes a CPA.
It provides a more sophisticated platform with additional statistics about the broader cryptocurrency environment. It has a robust data infrastructure, but it may not be suitable for inexperienced traders. Additionally, they have a list of crypto CPAs located around the world but have no formal collaborations with any of them.
Cryptocurrency taxes Reddit
The Reddit cryptocurrency community is extremely beneficial to both new and experienced investors. Reddit hosts cryptocurrency communities in which a simulated portfolio of value and growth investments is managed by multiple virtual investment clubs. Portfolio holdings are determined by group pitches, debates, and votes. These groups not only assist new traders in establishing their footing but also introduce them to a variety of trading strategies.
Do I owe Taxes for Cryptocurrency?
The answer to this question depends on where you are based, your intentions in the crypto space, and probably how you receive your crypto. Nonetheless, you might be liable for tax in the following ways:
- Do you mine or stake cryptocurrency? You may owe tax for the entire value of the coins mined.
- Did you receive crypto from an 'air drop'? It may be a taxable income.
- Do you accept payments in crypto? It may be just as taxable as a cash payment.
- Are you in crypto for investment? You may owe capital gains tax when the value rises.
- Did you convert one crypto for another? Exchanging your bitcoin for ethereum might be subject to tax on the gains made in that exchange.
When taxes are concerned, it is advisable to adhere to the principles of the land. This includes accurately tracking your transactions.
How to deal with your crypto investments from a tax perspective?
- Maintain clear records of all your crypto activities.
- Ask your exchange about how and where to get your trading history.
- View your wallet transaction logs and store them externally.
- Keep up-to-date records of all cryptocurrency spending.
Cryptocurrency Taxes Tips
Most tax jurisdictions maintain normal corporation tax, income tax, and capital gains tax rates for digital assets. Traders and investors should carefully assess how their respective governments view and treat cryptocurrencies.
If you are based in the United States, you will not pay tax for the following events:
- Converting fiat currency into crypto.
- Making donations to a non-profit or charity.
- Gifting crypto to a third party.
- Transferring crypto within different wallets.
If you are never ready when tax season hits, you better learn the value of preparedness. Facing the law because you failed to plan would not help your case.