Assets, Bitcoin

Do You Have to Pay Taxes on Bitcoin in Canada?

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, without a central bank or single administrator, that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

Bitcoin is unique in that there are a finite number of them: 21 million.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

NOTE: Warning: Bitcoin is not considered legal tender in Canada and is subject to taxation. Canadian residents must report their bitcoin gains or losses on their taxes to be compliant with Canadian tax laws. Gains and losses from trading, selling, or spending bitcoin are taxable events and must be reported on your income tax return. Failure to do so could result in possible penalties or fines.

As of February 2015, over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States has taken an interest in Bitcoin and has released guidance on how it should be taxed. In short, the IRS says that Bitcoin should be treated as property, not currency, for tax purposes.

This means that any gains or losses from buying, selling, or spending Bitcoin would be subject to capital gains tax.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has not yet released any guidance on how Bitcoin should be taxed. However, given the similarities between Bitcoin and other forms of property, it is likely that the CRA would treat Bitcoin in a similar way to how it treats other forms of property for tax purposes.

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