On 19 December 2018, the UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”), published a policy paper on the taxation of cryptoassets. The guidance is limited to HMRC’s view in relation to individuals holding cryptoassets and does not extend to tokens or assets held by businesses. The guidance confirms that HMRC does not consider cryptoassets to be currency or money for tax purposes and separates crypto assets into three categories of “tokens”: exchange tokens, utility tokens and security tokens. The guidance focuses on the taxation of “exchange tokens,” a term encompassing assets such as Bitcoin.Read More
As cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum become more prevalent in investment circles and acceptable for commercial transactions, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has said little other than to label “virtual currencies” as property and state that transactions involving virtual currencies may be subject to taxation under generally applicable law. However, on September 7, the Congressional Blockchain Caucus introduced the Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act which would exempt certain cryptocurrency transactions and create a cryptocurrency-specific information reporting requirement.
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The application of consumption tax to digital currencies varies between countries. The UK and countries in the EU have made Bitcoin exempt from such taxes, while other countries such as Japan, Singapore, Canada and Australia treat digital currencies as intangible property which is subject to the tax.
In Australia, this has resulted in consumers paying Goods and Services Tax (GST) when they exchange money for digital currencies and again when they use the digital currency to make a purchase. Treasury has released a discussion paper on the application of GST on digital currencies. While the proposals are very different technically, they both result in removing the double taxation.