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New Zealand Targets Crypto Investors for Tax Evasion Compliance

New Zealand’s tax authority, Inland Revenue, announced its initiative to intensify scrutiny on individuals who engage in cryptocurrency trading without duly reporting their income. The regulatory body focuses on taxpayers who fail to declare profits from their crypto asset dealings on their tax submissions.

Crypto assets, regarded legally as property, are subject to the same tax obligations as other forms of property. “What people make from selling, trading, or exchanging crypto assets is taxable,” the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) confirmed. This stance reaffirms the government’s resolve to enforce tax laws Amid the burgeoning digital economy.

IRD Identifies Tax Gaps in Crypto Trading

The IRD has leveraged data analytics to identify non-compliant users within the crypto market. “Data we have has helped us identify customers who are not paying their tax,” stated Inland Revenue spokesman Trevor Jeffries. According to Jeffries, the department discovered about 227,000 unique crypto asset users in New Zealand, who had engaged in approximately seven million transactions valued at a collective $7.8 billion.

In late 2023, the tax authority contacted a select group of high-risk individuals, allowing them to address any discrepancies in their tax reports voluntarily before initiating formal audits. This approach is part of a broader strategy to encourage compliance and deter tax evasion.

High Crypto Values Prompt Tax Compliance Call

The recent spike in crypto asset values has positioned investors favorably to fulfill their tax obligations. “Cryptoasset values have reached new highs, so now is a good time for people to think seriously about tax on their cryptoasset activity,” Jeffries advised. With the 2024 tax year approaching, taxpayers are urged to settle their dues, reflecting the high market values.

Inland Revenue is working to correct misconceptions about blockchain anonymity. Jeffries emphasized that, despite common beliefs, blockchain transactions can be tracked. “People are not invisible on the blockchain, and we have the tools and the analytics capabilities to identify and expose crypto-asset activities,” he stated.

Moreover, Inland Revenue is committed to helping New Zealanders understand their tax obligations related to cryptocurrencies. Educational resources and guidance are readily available to help individuals navigate the complexities of crypto taxation.

NZ Sees Crypto Growth Amid Calls for Regulatory Reform

A recent study highlighted a significant uptick in cryptocurrency adoption among New Zealanders. Over 1,000 participants were surveyed, with 14% acknowledging current or past ownership of cryptocurrencies, an increase from 10% in 2022. The study also revealed that nearly half of the respondents are considering future investments in the crypto World.

This growing interest is partly due to a declining trust in traditional banks, which many view as barriers to financial independence. Increasing frustration with traditional banks has led many to explore Digital Currencies as alternative investment options.

As digital assets gain popularity, New Zealand’s Commerce Minister Andrew Bayly also calls for updated regulations to support crypto growth. Bayly’s call to action underscores the need for a regulatory environment that fosters the growth and stability of the crypto industry in New Zealand.

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