UK Markets closed

U.K. updates crypto taxation guidance, stressing that crypto like bitcoin are neither currency nor securities

Celia Wan

The United Kingdom's tax authority issued taxation guidance for businesses on Friday, complementing its previous guidelines for individuals. 

The guidance clarifies how capital gains tax, corporate tax, national insurance contributions, income tax, and others. Notably, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) states that it generally does not consider cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin to be either currency or "stock or marketable securities," which largely exempts these cryptocurrencies from stamp taxes. However, tokens used in debt transactions are still subject to stamp taxes, according to the guidance.

HMRC also requires businesses to keep records of cryptocurrency transactions in pounds sterlings and keep records of the valuation methodology for these transactions. Businesses are also expected to record the amount spent on each type of exchange token. 

In Dec. 2018, HMRC published cryptocurrency taxation guidance for individuals, clarifying several taxation issues related to airdrops, forks, and mining. The 2018 guidance also asks individuals to keep records for each cryptocurrency transaction in pounds sterling.