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SARS speaks up: Some clarity provided on the taxation of cryptocurrencies in South Africa

Friday, 20 April 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Candice Gibson
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Author: Candice Gibson (Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr)

On 6 April 2018, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced that it will continue to apply normal income tax rules to cryptocurrencies and will expect affected taxpayers to declare cryptocurrency gains or losses as part of their taxable income.

Was this move expected by SARS?

Since the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies in South Africa and following the absence of legislation relating to the taxation and regulation of cryptocurrencies, also referred to as ‘virtual currencies’, the decision taken by SARS to address the taxation of cryptocurrencies has been anticipated.

During December 2017, SARS indicated that it was in discussions with top technology companies in the world regarding methods to track cryptocurrency trades more efficiently. The aforesaid discussions with global technology companies, and the recent statement by SARS, suggests that SARS is scrutinising the taxation of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency transactions.

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