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In other words, individuals using bitcoin as a method of payment will need to consider the value of bitcoin in relation to the value of the goods received to determine income or gains. For individuals who buy and sell cryptocurrencies on an exchange, the announcement means that if they transact as speculators, income received will have to be included in their gross income and will be subject to normal tax, says Joon Chong, tax partner at Webber Wentzel.
However, where someone holds cryptocurrencies for long-term gains, the sale would be subject to capital gains tax, she adds. While the tax community has welcomed the clarification around arguably the most contentious issue about cryptocurrencies — its nature for tax purposes — there are still significant areas of uncertainty. The valuation of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin remains a point of major concern, Ram says.
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Although Bitcoin transactions are made public on the blockchain and are traceable, they could be obfuscated making them hard to locate. Involving any such currency on a government level platform may be extremely hazardous to government plans and data, and therefore extreme measures should be taken before integrating this technology.
The report noted that cryptocurrency adoption is not widespread in South Africa. It also said that lawmakers should consider the potential impact of such currencies on tax compliance they are said to be monitoring the international rulings on cryptocurrencies closely to help determine the best approach.
Since we mentioned how Bitcoin is untraceable, SARS wants to hire companies who can look into tracking cryptocurrency transactions. They are aware how cryptocurrency transactions and trading may leave a huge line of untraced money exchanging, while also being legal. The head of research at SARS, Randall Carolissen, admitted that they have officially contacted some international technology companies around the world to help in tracking the flow of Bitcoins in the country.
While SARS was already skeptical about Bitcoin and the Blockchain technology, they announced that they would make Bitcoin and cryptocurrency Tax implications clear in the early months of However, technical companies would still be enforced to look after and monitor Bitcoin trading and exchanging. While the government may have its reasons and doubts about this currency, despite legalising it, private companies are lining up to integrate cryptocurrency technology. Once tax laws on cryptocurrencies are clearer in the coming months corporate and institutional players will feel more comfortable to enter the market, is expected to be a year for major growth for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in South Africa.