South Africa Puts Onus on Taxpayers to Declare All Cryptocurrency Income

South Africa Puts Onus on Taxpayers to Declare All Cryptocurrency Income
South Africa Puts Onus on Taxpayers to Declare All Cryptocurrency Income The tax authority of South Africa has warned taxpayers in the country against forgetting to report all their cryptocurrency transactions. However, it also presented a framework with a few positive points for those trading cryptocurrencies such as the ability to claim expenses and losses. Also Read: ADS Securities Adds Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple CFDs Not Legal Tender, Still Taxable The South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced on Friday that it expects everyone to declare cryptocurrency gains as part of their taxable income. “The onus is on taxpayers to declare all cryptocurrency-related taxable income in the tax year in which it is received or accrued. Failure to do so could result in interest and penalties.” The SARS acknowledged that it faced many calls from the public to provide direction on how to treat cryptocurrency tax reporting but says that a separate interpenetration is unnecessary for now. Instead it tried to explain how it falls under the current framework. Anyone who is uncertain about specific transactions involving cryptocurrencies may also seek guidance from the agency. The Existing Tax Framework The agency explains that cryptocurrencies are not regarded by SARS as a currency for income tax purposes or Capital Gains Tax, rather they are regarded as “assets of an intangible nature.” And, that “Whilst not constituting cash,” income received or accrued from cryptocurrency transactions can be taxed on revenue account under “gross income”. When goods or services are exchanged for cryptocurrencies, transactions are regarded as a barter. On the positive side, South African taxpayers are also entitled to claim expenses associated with cryptocurrency accruals, “provided such expenditure is incurred in the production of the taxpayer’s income and for purposes of trade.” Additionally, SARS will not require VAT (Value-Added Tax) registration as a vendor for purposes of the supply of cryptocurrencies in 2018. While SARS now says the onus is on taxpayers to report cryptocurrency transactions, traders should not assume it is not looking for other way to find out about them. Back in December 2017 we reported that SARS was exploring ways to track and tax bitcoin trading. The agency held talks with tech companies offering to implement transaction tracking solutions for it. Is it fair for the SARS to demand income tax payments on cryptocurrencies while not recognizing them as legal tender? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.  Images courtesy of Shutterstock. TAGS IN THIS STORY Bitcoin taxation, Bitcoin taxes, Bitcoin VAT, Crypto tax, crypto taxes, Cryptocurrency tax law, income tax, N-Featured, South Africa, South African, Taxpayer, taxpayers Do you agree with us that Bitcoin is the best invention since sliced bread? Thought so. That’s why we are building this online universe revolving around anything and everything Bitcoin. We have a store. And a forum. And a casino, a pool and real-time price statistics. Avi Mizrahi An economist and financial writer, Avi has been covering Bitcoin since 2013. Routinely talks about the promise of cryptocurrency at conferences around the world. 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