HMRC Guidance on crypto assets

HMRC Guidance on crypto assets

HMRC have replaced their papers on the taxation of crypto assets with a dedicated HMRC Manual which includes some additional clarifications.


There has been a substantial increase in interest in crypto assets and their associated taxation over the past 12 months. HMRC have recently retired their papers on the taxation of crypto assets for individuals and businesses and have now issued updated guidance in the form of an HMRC Manual. HMRC have called this an “Iteration rather than a revolution”. We can also expect further updates to the manual as the crypto asset market evolves.

As noted above, the new manual largely reflects the pre-existing guidance but is in a more user-friendly format as the length of guidance increases to cover new topics.

There have been no substantive changes to previous views given by HMRC but the guidance does now cover more topics i.e. staking, derivatives over crypto assets and makes previous comments on gambling clearer, etc. In addition, it provides some commentary on differences in tax treatment for non-fungible tokens.

Further iterations of the guidance are expected to be released in due course, for instance to cover matters such as the lending of crypto assets, the interaction with the UK’s digital services tax and potentially the common reporting standard, following separate comments made last year by the OECD.

Taxpayers that have invested/deal in or are thinking of investing/dealing in crypto assets should ensure they understand how they should be taxed in relation to these activities. It would be sensible to read the relevant guidance or discuss with an advisor.

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