HMRC targets crypto traders

Increased Scrutiny on Crypto Traders

The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has escalated its efforts to regulate cryptocurrency transactions, with a surge in tax investigations targeting crypto traders and investors. Individuals are receiving letters from HMRC, alerting them to ongoing investigations into potential non-payment of taxes.

Enquiry Letters and Information Requests

These letters, now reaching crypto investors, request detailed information regarding their crypto investments. Specifically, HMRC seeks clarification on funding sources, methods for determining taxable profits, and procedures for accounting for losses in tax calculations. Investors are instructed to furnish documentation recording their cryptocurrency transactions and income generated from such holdings.

Tight Response Deadlines

HMRC has imposed a strict one-month deadline for taxpayers to respond to these enquiries. This has generated considerable anxiety and apprehension among recipients, particularly given the complexity of cryptocurrency tax regulations and the potential consequences of inaccurate responses.

Complexity of Cryptocurrency Taxation

Navigating the tax landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies can be challenging, particularly for individuals lacking professional guidance. The distinction between investors and traders is pivotal, as regular trading activity may trigger classification as a trader, subjecting individuals to higher income tax liabilities instead of capital gains tax.

Cautionary Advice from Experts

Neela Chauhan, a partner at UHY Hacker Young, underscores the importance of cautious responses to HMRC enquiries. She emphasizes the potential pitfalls of inadvertently conveying a trader status to HMRC and advises recipients of enquiry letters to seek professional advice before responding.

HMRC’s Increased Vigilance

HMRC’s heightened focus on cryptocurrency taxation coincides with the significant surge in crypto market valuations over the past year. The tax authority is keen to harness crypto transactions as a source of tax revenue, especially considering the growing number of cryptocurrency owners in the UK, which stood at 4.9 million in 2022, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.


In conclusion, as HMRC intensifies its efforts to enforce tax compliance within the cryptocurrency sphere, investors must exercise caution and seek professional guidance to navigate the complexities of crypto taxation and ensure accurate compliance with tax obligations.

UK taxes on Crypto currency

In the United Kingdom, taxation of cryptocurrency transactions is subject to the same principles as traditional financial assets, albeit with some unique considerations. Cryptocurrency holdings and transactions are subject to capital gains tax (CGT) when disposed of for a profit, with individuals required to report gains exceeding the annual CGT allowance to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The tax liability is calculated based on the difference between the disposal proceeds and the original acquisition cost, taking into account any allowable deductions or reliefs. Additionally, individuals engaged in cryptocurrency trading as a business may be subject to income tax on their trading profits. The classification of individuals as investors or traders depends on the frequency, volume, and nature of their trading activities, with HMRC applying relevant case law and guidance to determine the appropriate tax treatment. Furthermore, VAT may be applicable to certain cryptocurrency-related activities, such as trading services, although the precise VAT treatment varies depending on the nature of the transaction. Overall, navigating the tax implications of cryptocurrency transactions in the UK requires a thorough understanding of tax regulations, diligent record-keeping, and potentially professional advice to ensure compliance with tax obligations.

Click here for our detailed blog on UK taxes on Crypto currency.

HMRC targets crypto traders
HMRC targets crypto traders

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