Austria aims to tax cryptocurrencies like stocks

Austria recently declared that it intends to tax cryptocurrency like stocks and bond investments.

As part of larger tax reform, the country plans to impose a 26% capital gains tax on digital tokens starting in March next year.

Austrian officials said the new structure will be the first of its sort in the European Union. The levy will not apply to crypto holdings purchased before the new tax laws go into force.

When selling the tokens occurs, the levy will be applied. Investors will not be taxed or compensated for any losses if they sell one token to buy another, the government said.

Major strides in crypto taxation

Austria has made significant progress in the field of crypto taxation. Blockpit is a firm that automates tax calculations for cryptocurrency trades, staking revenue, and other crypto-related activities. The company’s platform is used in five European countries as well as the United States.

Based on empirical research conducted by the European Commission, the estimated Bitcoin capital gains tax in 2020 will be 12.7 billion euros, including 3.6 billion euros in realized gains.

Most Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the report said, do not appear to regard cryptocurrencies as equal to sovereign nation currencies, but rather as intangible property.

Italy exempts crypto from tax

Other European Union countries do not provide clear tax advice. The definition of a taxable event varies depending on the country. Only crypto-to-fiat transfers may be considered taxable in France.

Cryptocurrencies are not subject to capital gains tax in Italy, the Netherlands, or Portugal unless they are considered speculative. This is far from a complete picture.

Tax professionals complain that regulations written before the internet are difficult to apply in the digital age. The crypto business is moving at such a breakneck pace that tax authorities are scrambling to keep up.


Image courtesy of Cointelegraph News/YouTube

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