Crypto Tax Worldwide

Ivan Liu Blockchain Technology


Bitcoin value surpassed gold for the first time in March, 2017, since then, the price of bitcoin continued to soar thru the remaining year of 2017 (all-high at $19,665), but fell drastically overall in 2018 (now at $8,197). The volatile value of bitcoin has made many millionaires and even billionaires. That being said, the government is not going to neglect these “unreported” assets and income, and many countries are now setting up guidance to the new tech-based source of income and asset.

The National Taxation Bureau of Taiwan treats cryptocurrency similar to virtual gifts in online gaming activities. If the trades result in over $80,000 NTD monthly sales, trader will be required to do registration and pay business . However, if the monthly sales is less than $80,000 NTD, or seen as non-recurring transactions,  the profit will be treated as incidental trading activities. That being said, the National Taxation Bureau has not taxed anyone yet in regards to income.

The U.S. IRS treats crypto as property for federal tax purposes, therefore, general rules for property transactions applies to the transactions of crypto. If you sold your crypto and made profit, you need to tell the IRS and pay capital gains tax. Just earlier this year, the IRS ordered crypto exchange Coinbase to hand over about 13,000 customers’ data to the IRS. These 13,000 customers are the ones that completed more than $20,000 worth of transactions in a single year on Coinbase.

The Australian Taxation Office sees Bitcoin as neither money nor Australian/Foreign currency. ATO treats it as property and is an asset for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes. A CGT event occurs when someone dispose his/her crypto. (e.g. sell, trade, exchange crypto, convert it to fiat, use it to obtain goods or services)

The IRS and ATO shares similiar practice in regards to crypto taxation. In contrast, the German Federal Ministry of Finance announced that it would not tax crypto when they are used for payment purposes.

“Virtual currencies (cryptocurrencies, e.g., Bitcoin) become the equivalent to legal means of payment, insofar as these so-called virtual currencies of those involved in the transaction as an alternative contractual and immediate means of payment have been accepted and no other purpose serve as a means of payment,” the ministry explained (as translated by ETHNews).

Sources:

  1. 數位貨幣,該課什麼稅?
  2. German Federal Ministry of Finance issues cryptocurrency tax guidance
  3. Tax treatment of cryptocurrencies
  4. IRS Virtual Currency Guidance : Virtual Currency Is Treated as Property for U.S. Federal Tax Purposes; General Rules for Property Transactions Apply