Cryptocurrencies are relatively new (they emerged in 2008) and don’t have clear state regulations yet. However, they’re already in the sights of tax agencies.
In most countries, both gains and losses must be reflected when filing the income tax return. This means that more people are interested in moving to countries where these digital currencies don’t pay taxes or, if they do, the tax rate applied is very low.
Let’s see which are the most prominent ones.
Main article: Tax residence in Monaco
The principality is one of the favorite places for the rich and famous to establish their residence within the European territory when they are looking for a less demanding tax regime. Its tax system provides that residents pay no income tax, a measure that has been in place since 1869.
And if Monaco was already quite attractive before, it’s now also attractive for cryptocurrency owners because it has adapted its tax exemption regime to the crypto asset environment: the sale of these currencies is not taxed at all in Monaco.
In addition, the country’s banking is quite knowledgeable when it comes to cryptocurrency movements.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has managed to attract thousands of high-net-worth residents thanks to its zero-taxation system. Even companies are starting to choose this country and vibrant Dubai as their tax domicile.
In this country, the sale of cryptocurrencies is totally exempt from taxation. But they go a step further and encourage their use for the purchase of high-value assets such as real estate and luxury cars.
Starting in 2021, it pushed for a new regulation to facilitate the trading of cryptocurrencies and related financial activities in its tax-free zones (also known as Free Trade Zones).
Main article: Taxation of cryptocurrencies in Andorra
There’s no total tax exemption in this country when selling cryptocurrencies, but the applicable rate is only 10%, considerably lower than in other EU countries.
In addition, Andorra has a Cryptocurrency Law under development, which plans to offer significant tax exemptions for those people who sell cryptocurrencies but reinvest the proceeds in other assets within the country.
The country is also positioned as one of the most interesting for mining cryptocurrencies since it has one of the lowest electricity rates on the continent and high-speed connectivity covering the entire country.
Main article: Taxes in Singapore
The Asian country has become one of the havens for cryptocurrency holders because both individuals and companies keeping cryptocurrencies don’t pay taxes if they hold them for long-term investment purposes. This is because there’s no capital gains tax in this country.
In the case of companies that are based in Singapore and whose main activity is the frequent buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, they must pay taxes on profits. And those that accept these currencies as a means of payment are taxed in accordance with the usual rules for income tax.
Main article: Cryptocurrencies in Portugal
Both trading cryptocurrencies and making transactions with them are totally tax-exempt. Neither VAT nor capital gains tax is paid. They’re not considered financial assets, so their returns cannot constitute capital gains or financial profits.
Those companies that accept payments or offer services with cryptocurrencies must pay both VAT and income tax.
Main article: Taxes in Malta
Malta has been given the nickname of the blockchain island, and it’s not by accident. Within its territory, capital gains tax is not levied on long-term cryptocurrency transactions. Nor is VAT paid on these transactions.
However, if transactions are carried out within the same day, the gains will have to be taxed under income tax.
As in Singapore, individuals and companies holding cryptocurrencies by way of investment don’t have to pay capital gains tax. In the case of companies where trading in digital assets is part of their business, they do have to pay income tax.
Gibraltar is known for its tax laxity, which also applies with respect to cryptocurrencies. Investments in such currencies are not subject to capital gains tax or VAT (because these taxes don’t exist in this territory). But there’s a corporate tax rate that is set at 10% on profits and applies with respect to cryptocurrency trading.
Are cryptocurrencies really money, and can they be considered assets similar to shares? Internationally there is no consensus on questions of this kind. As a result, each country is regulating digital currencies in its own way, and that results in very different tax regimes from one another.
How to take the first step?
As we’ve seen, while in some countries sales of crypto-assets are heavily taxed, in other states this is not the case. As a consequence, more individuals and companies are relocating to radically optimize their tax contributions.
And if you’re still not sure about your ideal destination, we recommend you to download our free report “The three best tax destinations of the moment”, available below.