What You Need to Know About the Queen’s Crypto Tax Update

November 4, 2019 14:39 UTC
  • The UK’s tax authority has updated its tax policy for crypto assets.
  • Expect huge administrative headaches as all crypto transactions need to be converted into £ and recorded.
  • The authority reiterates that Bitcoin is not money.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HRMC) on Friday updated its tax policy related to cryptocurrency in the UK. Here’s what you need to know to stay compliant with the British taxman.

The HRMC’s statement on Cryptoassets: tax for businesses only provided details for what it calls “exchange tokens” such as Bitcoin. It will, however, provide more info on security and utility tokens at a later date.

How Tax Affects Cryptoassets in Your UK Business

Businesses, in particular, will pay tax if they use exchange tokens:

  • By buying or selling them
  • Exchanging them for other assets including crypto assets
  • By mining them
  • Or as payment for goods and/or services

Companies will be subject to the usual corporation tax including capital gains and VAT amongst others.

They may be more concerned regarding the lack of crypto tax standards in the UK, however:

“HMRC will consider each case on the basis of its own facts and circumstances. It will apply the relevant legislation and case law to determine the correct tax treatment.”

Adding to the Administrative Headache

All transactions will need to be converted back into pounds sterling when filing tax returns. Adding to this headache, the HRMC said that companies and individuals will also have to keep track of how they converted each transaction.

“Reasonable care needs to be taken to arrive at an appropriate valuation for the transaction using a consistent methodology. Individuals and companies must also keep records of the valuation methodology.”

HRMC Says Bitcoin is Not Money

Not surprisingly the tax authority reiterated its stance that it does not consider Bitcoin or other crypto assets to be money.

“It is important to note that HMRC does not consider any of the current types of cryptoassets to be money or currency.”

Authorities around the world are coming to grips with an increasingly complicated asset class.

In the US, for example, the IRS has already failed to explain your crypto liabilities after a hard fork. Elsewhere in Australia and Canada, the authorities are consistently chasing down Bitcoin tax evaders.

Bitcoin may not “be money” but authorities certainly are working hard to reap its store-of-value rewards.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

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Ryan is a web designer, writer, and trader who hails from sunny South Africa. He eats, breathes and lives crypto. With experience following the FX market and a keen interest in the history and evolution of money, Ryan is always trying to understand the bigger economic picture. When not meticulously looking over the charts, he can be found planning his next road trip or running around a 5-a-side soccer field. Twitter LinkedIn