How to Avoid Paying Crypto Taxes in the UK [HMRC Guide]

by
Ajith Chandan
Reviewed by
Deepak Pareek
min read
Last updated:

Are you wondering if you can avoid crypto taxes in the United Kingdom? 

While it is not a good idea to try to hide your cryptocurrency from HMRC, savvy investors use legal tax strategies to save money.

In this guide, we'll go over 10 key strategies and insights to help you minimize your cryptocurrency tax liabilities while remaining compliant with UK laws.

Tax Avoidance vs. Tax Evasion - Clarifying the Difference

Before diving into specific strategies, it's essential to distinguish between tax avoidance and tax evasion, as these terms are often confused. 

  • Tax avoidance: involves legally using the tax regime to one's advantage within the bounds of the law. This may include investing in tax-advantaged strategies or applying legitimate deductions and credits to reduce crypto tax liabilities.
  • Tax evasion: is an illegal practice that involves deliberate misrepresentation or concealment of information to reduce tax liabilities. Engaging in tax evasion can lead to severe penalties, fines, and in some cases even prosecution. Throughout this guide, we will focus solely on legal ways to reduce tax liability in the UK.

How is Crypto Taxed in the UK?

Understanding the tax landscape is crucial to devising effective strategies. In the UK, cryptocurrencies are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Income Tax, depending on the nature of the transactions.

  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT): Applies to profits from selling or exchanging cryptocurrencies, taxing only the profit, not the total sale amount. The rate varies, typically 10% or 20%, based on individual income. 

The Capital Gains Tax rate is determined by your individual income. For Example, if your income is less than £50,270, you will pay a 10% tax on your bitcoin gains, whereas if your income exceeds £50,270, you will pay a 20% tax.

  • Income Tax: Levied on profits from activities like mining or staking, taxing the value of additional coins or assets at the time they are gained. The rate varies from 20% to 45%, depending on individual income.

Taxable Crypto Transactions

Numerous crypto-related transactions and events are taxable in the United Kingdom. Some common examples are:

  • Selling Cryptocurrency: Triggers Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the profit.
  • Exchanging Cryptocurrency: May incur CGT on any gains.
  • Spending Cryptocurrency: Considered a disposal and may trigger CGT.
  • Gifting Cryptocurrency: May result in CGT if not to a spouse or civil partner.
  • Mining and Staking: Typically subject to Income Tax.
  • Receiving Cryptocurrency as Payment: Considered income and subject to Income Tax.
  • Airdrops and Forks: Depending on circumstances, may be considered taxable income.
  • Interest from Crypto Lending: Earnings may be considered income, subject to Income Tax.
  • Cryptocurrency as Earnings: If paid in cryptocurrency for work, it's treated as income.

Hide Crypto from the HMRC! Good Idea?

Attempting to hide crypto assets from the HMRC is not advisable. The HMRC has been actively taking steps to crack down on tax evasion related to cryptocurrencies, collaborating with international agencies and utilizing advanced data analysis to detect discrepancies and hidden assets. Intentional hiding of assets to evade taxes can lead to severe penalties, fines, criminal charges, and imprisonment.

10 Legal Strategies to Avoid Crypto Taxes in the UK

1. Use Crypto Tax Software

Leveraging crypto tax software can automate the complex task of tracking transactions, gains, and losses across various cryptocurrencies. This ensures accurate calculation of tax liabilities, potentially reducing the overall tax bill. Kryptos UK's best Crypto Tax Calculator provide real-time insights and help in legal tax optimization.

2. Tax Loss Harvesting

This strategic approach involves selling crypto assets at a loss to offset gains made on other investments in the same tax year. Careful planning and timing are essential to ensure losses and gains are properly matched, offering a legal and effective way to manage tax burdens.

3. Carry Forward of Losses

If capital losses exceed gains in a tax year, the net loss can be carried forward to offset gains in future years. Detailed records of losses must be maintained, and while they can be carried forward indefinitely, they can't offset other types of income.

4. Utilize Allowances

Take advantage of the annual tax-free capital gains allowance. For the 2022/2023 tax year, this allowance is £12,570. Realizing gains up to this limit allows investors to legally avoid paying Capital Gains Tax on those gains.

5. Consider Timing of Sales

Strategically timing crypto asset sales to align with tax years can significantly impact capital gains tax liability. Planning sales around fiscal periods may result in falling into a lower tax bracket, reducing the overall tax rate.

6. Gift or Donate Cryptocurrency

Gifting cryptocurrency to a spouse or civil partner within the UK does not trigger Capital Gains Tax. Additionally, donating cryptocurrency to a recognized charity, without receiving anything in return, may be viewed as tax-deductible, allowing a deduction from taxable income.

7. Consider Your Income Bracket

Understanding your income level is crucial for strategic decisions about selling crypto assets. The UK's progressive tax system means you may incur capital gains at a lower tax rate by reducing your income and entering a lower tax bracket.

8. Keep Accurate Records

Proper documentation and accurate reporting of all crypto transactions are essential in the UK tax system. This ensures that you're not overpaying on taxes and that you're claiming all entitled deductions. Utilize tools like a free crypto portfolio tracker to automatically track transactions and assets.

9. Consult a Tax Professional

Engage with a tax consultant specializing in cryptocurrency. Personalized professional advice can reveal opportunities tailored to your specific situation.

10. Optimize & File with Kryptos

For investors looking to calculate their cryptocurrency taxes precisely, Kryptos offers a number of advantageous features. Here are some of the benefits of employing Kryptos:

  • User-friendly interface: Kryptos provides an easy-to-use interface for tracking crypto transactions and creating correct tax reports. It does not require tax experience to navigate.
  • Easily integrate with over 3000+ DeFi protocols covering exchanges, wallets, blockchains, and services such as Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, Kryptos enables effortless account connection and automated importation of transactions, eliminating the need for manual entry.
  • Leading crypto portfolio tracking and insights: Kryptos's portfolio tracking and insights tool allows you to take control of your crypto data. The portfolio dashboard provides an overview of your transactions as well as data on your entire crypto portfolio. Real-time updates on buy and sell data, net profit, and total profit help you make informed decisions and keep track of your investments.
  • Accurate Crypto Tax Calculator: Kryptos uses an advanced algorithm to calculate the acquisition cost of each cryptocurrency transaction, ensuring accurate representation and documentation of capital gains and income for tax purposes.

FAQs

1. How can I legally minimize my crypto tax liabilities in the UK?

To legally minimize crypto tax liabilities in the UK, consider strategies such as using crypto tax software for accurate calculations, engaging in tax loss harvesting, utilizing annual tax-free allowances, and strategic timing of sales. Always stay compliant with UK tax laws.

2. Is it possible to hide crypto assets from the HMRC to avoid taxes?

Attempting to hide crypto assets from the HMRC is not advisable. The HMRC actively pursues tax evasion related to cryptocurrencies and employs advanced techniques to detect hidden assets. Intentional evasion can lead to severe penalties, fines, and legal consequences.

3. Can gifting cryptocurrency help in avoiding Capital Gains Tax in the UK?

Gifting cryptocurrency to a spouse or civil partner within the UK is an exempt transaction and does not trigger Capital Gains Tax. This exemption allows for strategic planning within a family’s financial framework.

4. What is tax loss harvesting, and how can it help in reducing crypto taxes?

Tax loss harvesting involves selling crypto assets at a loss to offset gains made on other investments. This strategic approach can help reduce overall capital gains tax liabilities. Careful planning and timing are essential for effective implementation.

5. Why is keeping accurate records of crypto transactions important for tax management?

Keeping accurate records of all crypto transactions is crucial for proper tax management in the UK. Detailed documentation ensures that you're not overpaying on taxes, and it helps in claiming all entitled deductions, contributing to efficient and compliant tax reporting.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!

How we reviewed this article

Written by
Ajith Chandan

Content Creator - Kryptos, A Web2 Marketer transitioned to Web3 with 3 years of expertise in Content (Writing. Marketing. Strategizing) and Social media marketing.

Reviewed by
Deepak Pareek

Head of Tax & Accounting - Kryptos, Crypto Tax and Accounting Expert, having experience in working with Big 4 accounting firms as well as top tier law firms of India.

Arrow

How to Avoid Paying Crypto Taxes in the UK [HMRC Guide]

By
Ajith Chandan
On

Are you wondering if you can avoid crypto taxes in the United Kingdom? 

While it is not a good idea to try to hide your cryptocurrency from HMRC, savvy investors use legal tax strategies to save money.

In this guide, we'll go over 10 key strategies and insights to help you minimize your cryptocurrency tax liabilities while remaining compliant with UK laws.

Tax Avoidance vs. Tax Evasion - Clarifying the Difference

Before diving into specific strategies, it's essential to distinguish between tax avoidance and tax evasion, as these terms are often confused. 

  • Tax avoidance: involves legally using the tax regime to one's advantage within the bounds of the law. This may include investing in tax-advantaged strategies or applying legitimate deductions and credits to reduce crypto tax liabilities.
  • Tax evasion: is an illegal practice that involves deliberate misrepresentation or concealment of information to reduce tax liabilities. Engaging in tax evasion can lead to severe penalties, fines, and in some cases even prosecution. Throughout this guide, we will focus solely on legal ways to reduce tax liability in the UK.

How is Crypto Taxed in the UK?

Understanding the tax landscape is crucial to devising effective strategies. In the UK, cryptocurrencies are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Income Tax, depending on the nature of the transactions.

  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT): Applies to profits from selling or exchanging cryptocurrencies, taxing only the profit, not the total sale amount. The rate varies, typically 10% or 20%, based on individual income. 

The Capital Gains Tax rate is determined by your individual income. For Example, if your income is less than £50,270, you will pay a 10% tax on your bitcoin gains, whereas if your income exceeds £50,270, you will pay a 20% tax.

  • Income Tax: Levied on profits from activities like mining or staking, taxing the value of additional coins or assets at the time they are gained. The rate varies from 20% to 45%, depending on individual income.

Taxable Crypto Transactions

Numerous crypto-related transactions and events are taxable in the United Kingdom. Some common examples are:

  • Selling Cryptocurrency: Triggers Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the profit.
  • Exchanging Cryptocurrency: May incur CGT on any gains.
  • Spending Cryptocurrency: Considered a disposal and may trigger CGT.
  • Gifting Cryptocurrency: May result in CGT if not to a spouse or civil partner.
  • Mining and Staking: Typically subject to Income Tax.
  • Receiving Cryptocurrency as Payment: Considered income and subject to Income Tax.
  • Airdrops and Forks: Depending on circumstances, may be considered taxable income.
  • Interest from Crypto Lending: Earnings may be considered income, subject to Income Tax.
  • Cryptocurrency as Earnings: If paid in cryptocurrency for work, it's treated as income.

Hide Crypto from the HMRC! Good Idea?

Attempting to hide crypto assets from the HMRC is not advisable. The HMRC has been actively taking steps to crack down on tax evasion related to cryptocurrencies, collaborating with international agencies and utilizing advanced data analysis to detect discrepancies and hidden assets. Intentional hiding of assets to evade taxes can lead to severe penalties, fines, criminal charges, and imprisonment.

10 Legal Strategies to Avoid Crypto Taxes in the UK

1. Use Crypto Tax Software

Leveraging crypto tax software can automate the complex task of tracking transactions, gains, and losses across various cryptocurrencies. This ensures accurate calculation of tax liabilities, potentially reducing the overall tax bill. Kryptos UK's best Crypto Tax Calculator provide real-time insights and help in legal tax optimization.

2. Tax Loss Harvesting

This strategic approach involves selling crypto assets at a loss to offset gains made on other investments in the same tax year. Careful planning and timing are essential to ensure losses and gains are properly matched, offering a legal and effective way to manage tax burdens.

3. Carry Forward of Losses

If capital losses exceed gains in a tax year, the net loss can be carried forward to offset gains in future years. Detailed records of losses must be maintained, and while they can be carried forward indefinitely, they can't offset other types of income.

4. Utilize Allowances

Take advantage of the annual tax-free capital gains allowance. For the 2022/2023 tax year, this allowance is £12,570. Realizing gains up to this limit allows investors to legally avoid paying Capital Gains Tax on those gains.

5. Consider Timing of Sales

Strategically timing crypto asset sales to align with tax years can significantly impact capital gains tax liability. Planning sales around fiscal periods may result in falling into a lower tax bracket, reducing the overall tax rate.

6. Gift or Donate Cryptocurrency

Gifting cryptocurrency to a spouse or civil partner within the UK does not trigger Capital Gains Tax. Additionally, donating cryptocurrency to a recognized charity, without receiving anything in return, may be viewed as tax-deductible, allowing a deduction from taxable income.

7. Consider Your Income Bracket

Understanding your income level is crucial for strategic decisions about selling crypto assets. The UK's progressive tax system means you may incur capital gains at a lower tax rate by reducing your income and entering a lower tax bracket.

8. Keep Accurate Records

Proper documentation and accurate reporting of all crypto transactions are essential in the UK tax system. This ensures that you're not overpaying on taxes and that you're claiming all entitled deductions. Utilize tools like a free crypto portfolio tracker to automatically track transactions and assets.

9. Consult a Tax Professional

Engage with a tax consultant specializing in cryptocurrency. Personalized professional advice can reveal opportunities tailored to your specific situation.

10. Optimize & File with Kryptos

For investors looking to calculate their cryptocurrency taxes precisely, Kryptos offers a number of advantageous features. Here are some of the benefits of employing Kryptos:

  • User-friendly interface: Kryptos provides an easy-to-use interface for tracking crypto transactions and creating correct tax reports. It does not require tax experience to navigate.
  • Easily integrate with over 3000+ DeFi protocols covering exchanges, wallets, blockchains, and services such as Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, Kryptos enables effortless account connection and automated importation of transactions, eliminating the need for manual entry.
  • Leading crypto portfolio tracking and insights: Kryptos's portfolio tracking and insights tool allows you to take control of your crypto data. The portfolio dashboard provides an overview of your transactions as well as data on your entire crypto portfolio. Real-time updates on buy and sell data, net profit, and total profit help you make informed decisions and keep track of your investments.
  • Accurate Crypto Tax Calculator: Kryptos uses an advanced algorithm to calculate the acquisition cost of each cryptocurrency transaction, ensuring accurate representation and documentation of capital gains and income for tax purposes.

FAQs

1. How can I legally minimize my crypto tax liabilities in the UK?

To legally minimize crypto tax liabilities in the UK, consider strategies such as using crypto tax software for accurate calculations, engaging in tax loss harvesting, utilizing annual tax-free allowances, and strategic timing of sales. Always stay compliant with UK tax laws.

2. Is it possible to hide crypto assets from the HMRC to avoid taxes?

Attempting to hide crypto assets from the HMRC is not advisable. The HMRC actively pursues tax evasion related to cryptocurrencies and employs advanced techniques to detect hidden assets. Intentional evasion can lead to severe penalties, fines, and legal consequences.

3. Can gifting cryptocurrency help in avoiding Capital Gains Tax in the UK?

Gifting cryptocurrency to a spouse or civil partner within the UK is an exempt transaction and does not trigger Capital Gains Tax. This exemption allows for strategic planning within a family’s financial framework.

4. What is tax loss harvesting, and how can it help in reducing crypto taxes?

Tax loss harvesting involves selling crypto assets at a loss to offset gains made on other investments. This strategic approach can help reduce overall capital gains tax liabilities. Careful planning and timing are essential for effective implementation.

5. Why is keeping accurate records of crypto transactions important for tax management?

Keeping accurate records of all crypto transactions is crucial for proper tax management in the UK. Detailed documentation ensures that you're not overpaying on taxes, and it helps in claiming all entitled deductions, contributing to efficient and compliant tax reporting.

All content on Kryptos serves general informational purposes only. It's not intended to replace any professional advice from licensed accountants, attorneys, or certified financial and tax professionals. The information is completed to the best of our knowledge and we at Kryptos do not claim either correctness or accuracy of the same. Before taking any tax position / stance, you should always consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice from the professionals. Kryptos is not liable for any loss caused from the use of, or by placing reliance on, the information on this website. Kryptos disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy or adequacy of any positions taken by you in your tax returns. Thank you for being part of our community, and we're excited to continue guiding you on your crypto journey!

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