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Cryptocurrencies
Belgian income tax implications
Hendrik Putman
16 March 2019
Taxation as a rule?
2© MYTHRA 2019
The Belgian income tax code (BITC)
The BITC is not specifically adapted to cryptocurrencies. Categories of income defined ...
Income from cryptocurrencies always taxable in a Belgian context?
 Professional income (Taxation 25 % - 50 % on net basis...
Income from cryptocurrencies always taxable in a Belgian context?
 Non-taxation :
• → Buy & Hold (+ possibly trending)
• ...
Corporate income tax is different
 Standard flat rate of 29.58% (25% as of 2020)
• → For SMEs: up to EUR 100k: 20%
• → No...
Anticipating fiscal
consequences
7© MYTHRA 2019
Cryptocurrencies:
Belgian tax implications
Anticipating fiscal consequences
© MYTHRA 2019
Taxation Risk
High Risk
Ruling
m...
Cryptocurrencies:
Belgian tax implications
Anticipating fiscal consequences
© MYTHRA 2019
Bitcoin-tool: https://mythra.be/...
Cryptocurrencies:
Belgian tax implications
Anticipating fiscal consequences
© MYTHRA 2019
Anticipatory actions
 Feasibili...
Cryptocurrencies:
Belgian tax implications
And what if you are too late?
© MYTHRA 2019
Tax regularization
 Correction of ...
Contact information
12© MYTHRA 2019
Contact information
© MYTHRA 2019
Hendrik Putman
Partner
hendrik@mythra.be
+32 53 89 35 64
13
14© MYTHRA 2019
Parklaan 187
9300 Aalst
info@mythra.be
www.mythra.be
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20190316 - CLBFest - Cryptocurrencies and tax - Hendrik Putman

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Hendrik Putman, partner at the law firm Mythra, explained how cryptocurrencies in Belgian are (likely to be) taxed.

- what are the potential bases for taxation?
- what are indicators of "professional income"?
- what are indicators of "miscellaneous income"?
- is allocating the assets to (not ) for-profit corporations a good idea?
- how does the bitcoin tool (https://mythra.be/bitcoin/) work ?
- when is it reasonable to go for a tax ruling?
- when is it reasonable to go for a tax documentation preparation?

The context was the second (2019) edition of the Computational Law and Blockchain Festival (#CLBFest), Brussels' node.

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20190316 - CLBFest - Cryptocurrencies and tax - Hendrik Putman

  1. 1. Cryptocurrencies Belgian income tax implications Hendrik Putman 16 March 2019
  2. 2. Taxation as a rule? 2© MYTHRA 2019
  3. 3. The Belgian income tax code (BITC) The BITC is not specifically adapted to cryptocurrencies. Categories of income defined as taxable in Belgian individual income tax: 1. Real estate income 2. Movable income 3. Professional income 4. Miscellaneous income  Professional income: Income from a professional activity (repetitive, connected activities for which you receive compensation) • Taxation 25 % - 50 % on net basis  Miscellaneous income: Profit from occasional activities, investments or services, not relating to the taxpayer’s professional activities • Taxation: In principle 33% on the gains (with specific rules for losses) Cryptocurrencies: Belgian income tax implications © MYTHRA 2019 Taxation as a rule?
  4. 4. Income from cryptocurrencies always taxable in a Belgian context?  Professional income (Taxation 25 % - 50 % on net basis): Most extreme cases • → Mining • → No other professional activity • → Quick trade (e.g. day-trading) • → Large amounts & complex organization  Miscellaneous income (Taxation 33% on the gains): Majority of the cases? • → Speculative motive • → Repetition • → Investing through an automated process • → External financing • → Scalping and arbitrage • → Presence in the community Difficult follow-up since every conversion (even crypto to crypto) can result in a (taxable) gain: ‘realization of income’ Taxation as a rule? Cryptocurrencies: Belgian income tax implications © MYTHRA 2019
  5. 5. Income from cryptocurrencies always taxable in a Belgian context?  Non-taxation : • → Buy & Hold (+ possibly trending) • → Risk spreading/ portfolio diversification • → Hardware wallet (e.g. TREZOR or KeepKey) • → Savings fund (periodic returns) Classic criterium: “the normal management of a private estate”: • Managing your estate as a ‘bonus pater familias’ • Avoiding high risk speculation • The intention as well as the investment itself Taxation as a rule? Cryptocurrencies: Belgian income tax implications © MYTHRA 2019
  6. 6. Corporate income tax is different  Standard flat rate of 29.58% (25% as of 2020) • → For SMEs: up to EUR 100k: 20% • → Non-taxation is not possible, but higher level of certainty • → Tax leakage upon cash extraction to shareholder • → In practice: difficult accounting  Other jurisdictions? • → E.g. Switzerland • → Concept of tax residency Corporate income tax versus personal income tax Cryptocurrencies: Belgian income tax implications © MYTHRA 2019
  7. 7. Anticipating fiscal consequences 7© MYTHRA 2019
  8. 8. Cryptocurrencies: Belgian tax implications Anticipating fiscal consequences © MYTHRA 2019 Taxation Risk High Risk Ruling miscellaneous income Defense paper miscellaneous income Relocation Medium/low Risk Ruling non- taxation Defense paper non-taxation Decision tree
  9. 9. Cryptocurrencies: Belgian tax implications Anticipating fiscal consequences © MYTHRA 2019 Bitcoin-tool: https://mythra.be/bitcoin/
  10. 10. Cryptocurrencies: Belgian tax implications Anticipating fiscal consequences © MYTHRA 2019 Anticipatory actions  Feasibility of a ruling • Ruling commission reluctant to decide on non-taxation (To date, only one successful ruling published) • Partial taxation of the gain as an alternative?  Relocation • Feasibility (based on personal situation) • Tax abuse? • Identification of the jurisdiction of preference  Other considerations • Defense file as minimum protection • Donation of the Cryptocurrency prior to realization • Valuation of the gain (LIFO, FIFO, Average)
  11. 11. Cryptocurrencies: Belgian tax implications And what if you are too late? © MYTHRA 2019 Tax regularization  Correction of historic (incorrect) tax returns  Questions from banks with respect to AML  Legal certainty  Immunity from criminal sanctions
  12. 12. Contact information 12© MYTHRA 2019
  13. 13. Contact information © MYTHRA 2019 Hendrik Putman Partner hendrik@mythra.be +32 53 89 35 64 13
  14. 14. 14© MYTHRA 2019 Parklaan 187 9300 Aalst info@mythra.be www.mythra.be

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