Accountant's Guide to Cryptocurrency Taxation

Updated: Apr 15

Perspective on IFRS versus GAAP

The realization that cryptocurrency is here to stay (Cryptocurrency will impact business in 2021, Mike) is pushing businesses to accept alternatives to traditional methods of payment, such as cash and credit cards. These businesses are increasingly required to prepare GAAP monetary statements.

The FASB is synonymous with the Internal Revenue Service of accounting. GAAPs are established by the FASB. Cryptocurrencies are not subject to GAAPs at present.

The Chartered Accountants Association has recently released a guide to help digital asset professionals understand how cryptocurrencies should be accounted for in GAAP financial statements, particularly on the balance sheet, since there are no blockchain-specific rules from the FASB.

Accounting jargon:

a balance sheet shows a company's financial position at a particular point in time. It contains a list of fixed assets (land, equipment, cash, etc), liabilities (loans, obligations to third parties, etc), and equity (the composition of the company's assets). The balance sheet report is a reflection of the company's financial position and has a direct impact on its value.

EStocks Rank Cryptocurrencies

Since crypto-assets are neither backed by a sovereign government nor are legal tender, they cannot be classified as cash or cash equivalents in GAAP financial statements.

Since they are not cash and do not constitute a contractual right to receive cash or an equivalent, we cannot classify them as financial instruments. A cryptocurrency cannot be defined as inventory because it is intangible and therefore cannot be put on a balance sheet as inventory.

Cryptocurrencies As Intangible Assets

We are left with a single category, just as companies currently classify crypto assets in GAAP financial data, after the elimination process.

Cryptocurrencies are intangible assets with an indefinite useful life, but that classification has some issues. This accounting treatment doesn't reflect reality; cryptocurrency like Bitcoin works much like cash as they are liquid. A GAAP financial statement is intended to give the underlying company's financial condition a fair and accurate picture. GAAP finance cannot communicate the liquidity of crypto assets because they are intangible assets.

Secondly, an intangible asset is tested for impairment when classified as an indefinite useful life item. The business can write off the decline in value of the crypto asset as impairment (not to be confused with tax losses) in its income statement if the value of the asset fell during the reporting period. In the event that the value rises again (which happens often due to high volatility), the business cannot use the asset's value.

Current GAAP accounting practices understate crypto assets, preventing businesses from disclosing the true value of the crypto assets they own in their financial statements.

For most small businesses, GAAP-compliant financial statements are not required. Statements (financial statements) are prepared using tax billing methods, often providing flexibility to classify crypto assets.

Cryptocurrencies Grow Fast

Some of the most famous cryptographic assets, including cryptocurrencies, use conventional currencies for exchange and share some features. There are many cryptocurrencies in the market, but at the moment, Bitcoin and Ether are the two most popular.

Standard setters have not ignored these transformative technologies. During the meeting in December 2016, representatives of national and supranational accounting standards setters met with the Accounting Standards Advisory Forum (ASAF) to discuss the digital currency classification as a crypto asset. Although the IASB has not issued any formal guidance, discussions continued in various accounting standards bodies.

On July 19, the IASB Board agreed to ask the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRS IC) to evaluate the needs of entities in complying with existing IFRS, possibly as part of its agenda in 2019.

It is considered a subset of crypto assets with the following characteristics by the IFRS IC in its agenda decision of June 2019:

1. Virtual currency created using cryptography that uses dispersed ledgers for security.

2. Cryptonot offered by third parties or other authorities!

3. The holder and another party do not have a contract!

As accounting policies change and technology and markets advance, many judgments need to be reviewed further.

Investing in crypto assets

Accounting for crypto assets does not fall under IFRS. There are a variety of different accounting standards that can be applied.

Determining the accounting model should also take into account the entity's goal. Then we look at accounting standards and other considerations that may apply to cryptocurrency assets.


Currency and cash are not defined in IFRS. For accounting purposes, the words cash and currency can be interchanged.

In order to determine whether cryptocurrency is a currency or cash, it needs to be evaluated.

The following characteristics of cash and coins are lacking in Cryptocurrencies according to IFRS:

Governments and states mostly do not issue or endorse cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

The price of goods and services cannot currently be set by cryptocurrencies. Hence, cryptocurrencies may be allowed to be used for certain transactions, but they do not influence the price of goods or services in an economy.

Every cryptocurrency must be assessed according to IFRS.

Companies that own shares in Venezuela's government-sponsored cryptocurrency may need to assess whether such shares meet the definition of cash or currency, taking into account the factors above, as well as any relevant legal and regulatory questions.

How Cryptocurrencies Are Accepted And Penetrated

Cryptocurrencies have a strong future with the invention of Bitcoin. Citizens have noticed a real use case for them. Although it once served as a means to trade illegal goods on the dark web, it has slowly gained respect in various mainstream legal industries. There have been many articles written about cryptocurrency's technical aspects, like the protocol, privacy, or network architecture.

A number of economic facts, such as market equilibrium, market intermediaries, or Bitcoin as a currency, have been extensively investigated and explained in this article.

The factors that discourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies are not fully defined in research. In its place, the article describes Bitcoin's materiality, its social life, and the perception of legitimacy by government and citizens. Blockchain-based currencies, including Bitcoin, have many similar or even improved characteristics to fiat currencies, including superior marketability, scarcity, durability, and portability.

General dissatisfaction and long-damaged trust in the banking system led to a fundamental change in monetary technology, which has become a powerful catalyst for this infusion of innovative and alternative monetary concepts.

Fast payment processing emerged as a requirement for cheap, anonymous, and rapidly changing online exchanges created by the internet age. Historically, most of the change has been driven by electronic money, but many new types have emerged recently that are driving so much change.

There is a significant change when there is growing criticism of the current banking system, such as doubts about its legitimacy. A new currency currently faces competition from an established monetary system. Metcalf's law describes this: as network members increase, the utility of the network will increase; hence, cryptocurrencies can be designed as a decentralized monetary network with relatively few users so far.

In this document, the problem is to understand why cryptocurrencies are not growing or used widely in today's economy. In the first quarter of 2017, there were only plus 3 million cryptocurrency users and 11.5 million digital wallets that store cryptocurrencies according to a recent Cambridge study. Using cryptocurrencies as a currency or store of value has been undertaken by only 0.04 percent of the population worldwide.

According to a representative study of 1,009 Bitkom citizens, 64 percent of Germans knew about Bitcoin in 2018. In 2016, only 36 percent of all Germans knew about Bitcoin. Participants said 19% of them will employ Bitcoin in the future for curiosity (53%) and frustration with the central bank's monetary system (37%).

Despite only 4 percent of the group having Bitcoin currently, the majority (72 percent) don't intend to use Bitcoin in the near future, so only 3 percent of the study group views Bitcoin as a part of modern society. Currently, retailers accept 2 percent of crypto payments, and there is significant interest in accepting payments from European retailers in the future. Despite being around since 2009, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies still have very poor market penetration.

Cryptocurrency Revolution:

“.The Factors”

The creation and transfer of digital money is a crucial part of blockchain technology. Each historical currency was backed by a central authority that guaranteed its financial value. Users were guaranteed value. By adopting cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, brokers' business models are being made obsolete and making transactions harder to cheat on, thereby reducing their credibility.

Since the creation of coins, people have stored and exchanged their coins through trusted third parties. Regulatory processes and trust in the value of Cryptocurrencies will be required for the lovely cryptocurrencies to reach mass acceptance. Bitcoin, for example, operates on a decentralized and unregulated blockchain network.

Recognition Of Cryptocurrencies: Legal Aspects

Different legal elements apply to virtual currencies based on the country. Cryptocurrencies are classified differently depending on the country: some are cash, others as legitimate, and some, like India, don't have a legal framework. Some nations, like Bangladesh and Russia, release bitcoin illegally; other nations, its status is complex.

Some countries, such as Iceland, ban cryptocurrencies because of existing laws. Currently, cryptocurrencies in India are not regulated as they are in many other countries. Cryptocurrency legal issues include:

The value of these is derived from the promise of the constituted authority, unlike government-issued currencies (coins, banknotes, etc.). Because cryptocurrency is decentralized, it is challenging to regulate by the government.

A lack of strong legal framework is an obstacle to regulating a decentralized currency, which creates additional obstacles to flow and flow of virtual currencies.

The prestigious cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which had a base value of $ 0.30 in 2010 and rose to $34,000 in 2015, demonstrates the volatility of virtual currencies. We are in the middle of a major upheaval of virtual currencies that will further destabilize the economy.

Independent wallets: firms that set up and manage wallets that contain cryptocurrency and are involved in transactions are not controlled by an organization because international regulations do not exist. Because of this, they cannot be held accountable for the loss or theft of customer valuables. (Cryptocurrency legislation is not a priority for lawmakers, Sean, 2020) It would have been more beneficial if governments had implemented this legislation on time

Cryptocurrencies' most significant problem is taxes. If used correctly, their pseudo-anonymity makes them ideal for concealing property for tax evasion. Cryptocurrencies often fall under taxation. The US, for instance, can suffer fiscal problems if it brings significant amounts of foreign currency into the country. But this also causes financial instability.

When cryptocurrencies are carried and stored online, they can pass easily through border checkpoints, allowing them to be withdrawn within the country without paying border taxes. Several countries have legal and tax loopholes that allow cryptocurrencies like anonymity to be used. Incorrect or outdated cryptocurrency implementations.

Cryptocurrency legal frameworks typically consider money laundering when developing their legal frameworks. However, cryptocurrencies have been linked to money laundering since their inception. Money laundering is among the main monetary complications with such currencies because of the ease with which they move between nations without supervision.

It is difficult to track virtual currencies bought from banks, but it is possible to buy or sell the currencies with money or other techniques that are harder to track.

Different people mean different things by cryptocurrency

Others see it as a form of investment, some as a form of property, and yet others as a commodity. Accounting for cryptocurrency holdings has been influenced by this.

Some will be surprised by the conclusion reached by the IFRS Interpretations Committee (IFRIC).

Cryptocurrency Is Convenient For Electronic Transactions

Cryptocurrency combines the convenience of electronic transactions with the features of fiat money. Cryptocurrencies retain some characteristics of fiat money while providing instant transactions. Payments can be made for a wide variety of products and services using this method.

The Bitcoin currency can be used to pay for goods and services at Bitcoin merchants such as Wikipedia, Microsoft, and Amazon. Cryptocurrencies facilitate transactions by serving as a medium of exchange.

When the cryptocurrency is accepted by users, it functions as a unit of account. Even though cryptocurrencies meet the unit of account requirement, the ability of cryptocurrencies to value items continuously based on price fluctuations remains controversial.

About a decade after its launch, cryptocurrencies are being acquired to pay for online transactions as well as invest for future capital gains. In an empirical study of Bitcoiners, it was found that they kept their cryptocurrency as an asset in the hope that it would accumulate value over time. In contrast, they used it as currency.

Investors' portfolios can also be diversified through cryptocurrency accounting treatments. Fiat money has a second function: as a store of value.

Follow institutional demands

In order to meet public expectations and requirements, organizations must incorporate cryptocurrency into their operations as the use of cryptocurrencies increases. This is called coercive isomorphism. Many well-known companies accept digital currencies for payment, including Microsoft, Wikipedia, and Amazon.

Smaller organizations will be encouraged to use cryptocurrencies as a compliance tool. It is impossible to ignore that governance structures such as professional accountants must follow rules. Cryptocurrencies may pose challenges to accounting professionals in the business environment. The accounting treatment of cryptocurrencies must be based on underlying factors.

Accountants should be aware of the social context of cryptocurrency. Individuals in society formed social units based on their perceptions and actions. To apply IFRS to cryptocurrencies, the IFRS must understand their economics.

Concluding remarks

Crypto assets can be described as a form of currency or a token. As there is no generally accepted definition for either term, the terms can be used interchangeably based on the functionality of the asset. At present, the currency is generally used to refer to a cryptographic asset that is designed specifically to serve as a medium of exchange. By tokens, we mean assets that provide their holders with additional functionality or utility.

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