As cryptocurrencies continue to pick up steam and encompass the features of regular asset classes, governments have likewise imposed taxes on capital gains from digital currency. South Korea is the latest country to adopt this initiative. Its Ministry of Economy and Finance said it will levy taxes on cryptocurrency profits from next year.
Investors Will Pay Tax On Cryptocurrency Gains
The South Korean government is going ahead with its proposal to tax cryptocurrency returns after several reconsiderations. A local news agency, Yonhap reported in December that the National Assembly’s Planning and Finance committee deliberated on the amendment of income tax laws and individual consumption tax laws.
As part of the income regulatory initiative, cryptocurrency traders and investors are mandated to pay 20 percent if they earn more than 2.5 million won (almost $2300 at the present exchange rate) from bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Gains below 2.5 million won will not be taxed. The law was initially scheduled to be implemented in October this year, but it will now be enacted in 2022.
According to the new report, bitcoin gains will be filed under ‘other income.’ Cryptocurrency investors will report their gains through an income statement and will pay taxes in May every year.
A turn of proceedings saw South Korea become a burgeoning cryptocurrency market. In 2017, the government announced that it would strictly regulate cryptocurrency transactions and even shut down exchanges in the country after Seoul-based exchange, Youbit, was hacked.
Bithumb Tax Saga
This is not the Korean government’s first attempt at bitcoin taxation. Korea’s National Tax Service asked cryptocurrency exchange, Bithumb to pay its foreign customers withholding taxes to the tune of 80 million won in 2019.
There were uncertainties surrounding that. It was unclear whether the cryptocurrency industry was subject to withholding tax. Bithumb filed a complaint to the tax tribunal over what is referred to as a “groundless” tax imposed by the NTS. It also argued that cryptocurrencies were not recognized by South Korean law and should not be taxable.
The industry has evolved since then. Cryptocurrencies are bridging the gap on conventional assets, and emerging laws classify them as taxable properties.