NZ taxation on crypto assets
In September 2020, NZ's Inland Revenue Service (IRD) updated its guidance on the tax treatment of cryptoassets. Crypto-assets is just another name for cryptocurrencies and/or virtual currencies.
IRD spokesperson Tony Morris says the IRD is doing the refresh to provide some certainty for taxpayers with cryptoassets.
“People can buy, sell, and exchange cryptoassets; provide goods or services in exchange for them; mine cryptoassets; and earn staking rewards (or “crypto interest”) among other things,” Morris says.
“There are no special tax rules for cryptoassets in New Zealand. The guidance clarifies how ordinary income tax rules apply to cryptoassets to help people understand their tax obligations.
“Essentially, cryptoassets are treated as a form of property for tax purposes. What people make from selling, trading or exchanging crypto-assets is taxable.
“This updated guidance allows people to work out what tax they need to pay when they sell, trade, swap, lend or mine cryptoasset transactions. They can find out what records to keep and work out what they need to put in their tax return.”
Investors would need to calculate the NZ dollar value of their cryptoasset transactions, as well as their income and expenses, and include that in their tax returns.
That could include income from mining, staking, lending, selling or being paid in cryptocurrencies.
“If you hold cryptoassets as trading stock, your income also includes the closing value of your trading stock. This is the value of the cryptoassets you hold as trading stock at the end of the income year.”
Traders could generally claim the cost of the assets, the depreciation of capital assets such as computer hardware, and interest charged on money borrowed to buy assets if there is a taxable profit involved.
Learn more at the relevant IRD webpage.