Declare cryptocurrencies on your tax returns, says SARS

South Africans who own cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum of any of the hundreds of others need to declare gains or losses on their tax returns, according to the SA Revenue Service. 

“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 tax agency has said. 

Taxpayers who are uncertain about specific transactions involving cryptocurrencies may seek guidance from the agency. 

“Whilst not constituting cash, cryptocurrencies can be valued to ascertain an amount received or accrued as envisaged in the definition of ‘gross income’ in the Act,” said SARS in a note. 

“Following normal income tax rules, income received or accrued from cryptocurrency transactions can be taxed on revenue account under ‘gross income’.”

SARS added that the implications of how VAT should applied to cryptocurrencies is under review. “Pending policy clarity in this regard, SARS will not require VAT registration as a vendor for purposes of the supply of cryptocurrencies,” it said. 

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