Bitcoin punters may be targeted by the taxman

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HMRC is reportedly pressuring trading websites for digital currencies for information about customers
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Bitcoin punters may be targeted with taxman ‘pressuring trading websites for information about transactions’

HMRC is reportedly pressuring trading websites for digital currencies for information about customers

Thousands of punters who profited from the boom in bitcoin may be stung with a surprise tax bill.

Tax collector HMRC is reportedly pressuring trading websites for digital currencies for information about customers and their transactions.

The authority, chasing unpaid charges, is understood to have written to exchanges, including Coinbase and Etoro, to try to find bitcoin winners who owe money. The currency surged to almost $20,000 in 2018, before dropping sharply. 

Such exchanges and digital currencies, including bitcoin traded on them, are not regulated in the UK but users may have to pay capital gains tax, which is charged on profits made from the sale of assets. 

There is a tax-free allowance of £12,000 for these.

HMRC is said to be interested in people who have been buying and selling crypto-currencies, amid concerns they are not reporting tax liabilities properly. 

It refused to respond to a freedom of information request about its inquiries, but said: ‘These transactions may result in potential tax charges and HMRC has the power to issue notices requiring exchanges to provide this information.’

 

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