On 27th April 2022 Revenue updated its guidance material to provide clarity on the tax treatment of transactions involving crypto-assets. This latest publication also provides worked examples.
The terms “cryptocurrency” and “cryptocurrencies” are not defined.
The Irish Central Bank places cryptocurrencies, digital currencies, and virtual currencies into the same category of digital money. It is important to bear in mind, however, that although defined in this manner, these “currencies” are unregulated and decentralised which means that no central bank either guarantees them or controls their supply.
Throughout Revenue’s updated document the term “crypto-asset” is used, which includes cryptocurrencies, crypto-assets, virtual currencies, digital money or any variations of these terms. Revenue state that the information contained in their most updated guidance is for tax purposes only.
Under Section TCA97 Ch4 s71–5, an individual who is resident in Ireland but not Irish domiciled is liable to Irish income tax in full on his/her/their income arising in Ireland, and on “non-Irish income” only to the extent that it is remitted to Ireland.
This is known as the remittance basis of taxation.
It’s important to keep in mind that the remittance basis of taxation does not apply to income from an office or employment where that income relates to the performance of the duties of that office or employment which are carried out in Ireland.
Section 29 TCA 1997 is the charging section for Capital Gains Tax.
s29(2) TCA 1997 states that a person who is Irish resident or ordinarily resident and is Irish domiciled is chargeable to Irish CGT on gains on all disposals (on his/her/their worldwide assets) arising in the year of assessment regardless of whether the gains are remitted to Ireland or not.
s29(4) TCA 1997 states that an individual who is Irish resident, or ordinarily resident, but not Irish domiciled is chargeable on gains arising on disposals of Irish assets in the year of assessment as well as on remittances to Ireland in the year of assessment in respect of gains on the disposals of foreign assets. In other words, an Irish resident/ordinarily resident but non domiciled individual is liable to Irish CGT on remittances in respect of gains arising on the disposal of assets situated outside the state.
From professional experience, the location of the crypto asset is often difficult to prove.
According to Revenue’s most recent publication:
“… where a crypto-asset exists ‘on the cloud’, it will not actually be situated anywhere and therefore, cannot be
viewed as ‘situated outside the State’.”
If the crypto-asset isn’t located anywhere and isn’t, therefore, considered to be a “disposal of an asset outside the state” then the remittance basis of taxation does not apply and the gain arising will be liable to Irish Capital Gains Tax based on the residency rules of the individual.
As you can see, it is very much the responsibility of the taxpayer to be able to prove the location where the gain arose on the disposal of the crypto-assets.
Revenue have outlined their record keeping provisions in relation to all taxes as follows: https://www.revenue.ie/en/starting-a-business/starting-a-business/keeping-records.aspx
In situations where the records are stored in a wallet or vault on any device including a personal computer, mobile phone, tablet or similar device, please be aware that these records must be made available to Revenue, if requested.
As with all taxes, full and complete records must be retained for six years in accordance with legislation. It is important to keep in mind that these provisions apply to all taxpayers, including PAYE only taxpayers.
For further information, please follow the link: https://www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/income-tax-capital-gains-tax-corporation-tax/part-02/02-01-03.pdf
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