Contract law | Profits from crypto trading are taxable

Contract law | Profits from crypto trading are taxable

Contract law | Baden-Wuerttemberg Fiscal Court, Press release no. 6 / 2021

This was the ruling of the Baden-Württemberg Tax Court on 11 June 2021 (case no. 5 K 1996/19). The appeal is pending before the Federal Fiscal Court (BFH). The file number at the Federal Fiscal Court is not yet known.

The plaintiff declared profits from trading in cryptocurrencies in his income tax return for 2017. His son ran the business for him on a fiduciary basis. The plaintiff had contributed to his son’s portfolio with a money payment. The son also acted in a fiduciary capacity for his mother and in his own name. Parents and son agreed on the respective shareholdings in the entire portfolio. The son first purchased the cryptocurrency Bitcoin with US dollars (USD). He traded directly with some of the Bitcoin holdings and used others to acquire other cryptocurrencies. For this purpose, he was registered with six internet-based trading platforms. He bought and sold cryptocurrencies within a year. The defendant recognised the profits as income from private sales transactions. The plaintiff lodged an appeal. There is no ‘other commercial good’ and therefore no disposal transaction. Cryptocurrencies are not an economic good. In addition, there is a structural implementation deficit in the taxation of income from trading in cryptocurrencies, which is attributable to the legislator. The taxation depends on the taxpayer’s willingness to declare. There are no obligations to report the transfer of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from or to a taxable person. A crypto exchange is not subject to automated account retrieval. Click here for the full press release.


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