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Austria Crypto Tax Guide

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Crypto Tax Austria: Ultimate Guide 2022

Last updated: Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Wondering how Austria taxes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? The Austrian Bundesministerium für Finanzen (Ministry of Finance) recently released new kryptosteuer guidance, reforming crypto tax from the 1st of March 2022. We've got everything you need to know about crypto tax in Austria in our ultimate Austria crypto tax guide for 2022.

This guide is regularly updated

Before we start, Austria crypto tax rules are changing regularly - with big changes to crypto tax coming in March 2022. At Koinly, we keep a very close eye on new guidance from the BMF and regularly update our guide to keep you informed and tax compliant.

19 April 2022: Updated - the new crypto tax rules are now in effect.
15 February 2022: Updated to include Dac8 proposal and what it means for your crypto.
19 January 2022: Welcome to the Austria Crypto Tax Guide (Willkommen beim österreichischen Krypto-Steuerratgeber!)

Is there a crypto tax in Austria?

Let’s get the simple question out the way first - do you pay crypto tax in Austria?

Yes. You pay tax on cryptocurrency in Austria.

The BMF views cryptocurrency as an intangible asset, not a fiat currency. But it taxes cryptocurrency like income under the Austrian Income Tax Act.

Austria crypto intangible asset

However this is all set to change from the 1st of March 2022 - under the Austrian crypto tax reform. The reform comes with some pros and cons, but in brief, crypto is now taxed the same as stocks in Austria.

Can the BMF track crypto?

Yes. The BMF can track your crypto.

The Austria crypto tax reform makes one thing clear to investors - the BMF wants to know about your crypto transactions and pay your fair share in tax.

Like many other European tax offices including Germany and the UK, the Austrian Ministry of Finance will be working with large crypto exchanges to share KYC data to ensure tax compliance.

As well as this, there is a new EU directive on data sharing - Dac8 - which is likely to take effect later this year. Under the proposed directive - it's likely that the BMF will have the ability to check whether someone owns crypto, as well as have the authority to look into crypto companies' accounts and gain insight into crypto assets.

Calculate your Austrian crypto taxes with Koinly

How is crypto taxed in Austria?

It’s important to note that how crypto is taxed in Austria depends on when you purchased your crypto. The Austrian crypto tax reform came into effect on the 1st of March 2022 and changed the way crypto is taxed. We’ll cover both in this guide - starting with how crypto is taxed in Austria prior to March 2022.

Unlike many countries - Austria doesn’t have a specific Capital Gains Tax. So despite viewing cryptocurrency as an intangible asset - it’s taxed under Income Tax. The exact rate you’ll pay will depend on how much you earn and the specific type of transaction you’re making.

Currently, you’ll pay Income Tax in Austria anytime you:

  • Sell crypto for euros or any other fiat currency.
  • Trade crypto for another cryptocurrency.
  • Spend crypto on goods and services.
  • Mine crypto.

Austria crypto Income Tax

To further complicate things, in crypto transactions where you’re earning interest - you’ll pay a special interest-bearing tax rate of 27.5%. This could include transactions like:

  • Staking crypto.
  • Lending crypto.
  • Liquidity mining.
  • Yield farming.

Interest-Bearing Tax Crypto Austria

Short and long-term crypto gains tax Austria

It’s important to note that under the old crypto tax rules - you’ll only pay Income Tax on crypto short-term gains. What this means is that if you acquire/buy and sell, spend or trade crypto you’ve held for less than a year - you’ll pay Income Tax. If you’ve held your crypto for more than a year - you’ll pay no tax.

Short-term vs long-term gains tax crypto Austria

But this changes with the crypto tax reform 2022.

Crypto Income Tax Rates Austria

There is no specific tax for crypto in Austria. Instead, it is currently all taxed under the progressive Income Tax rates - the same as your regular income.

IncomeTax Rate
Less than €11,0000%
€11,001 - €18,00020%
€18,001 - €31,00035%
€31,001 - €60,00042%
€60,001 - €90,00048%
€90,001 - €1,000,00050%
More than €1,000,00055%

How is crypto taxed in Austria under the crypto tax reform?

The crypto tax reform came into effect on the 1st of March 2022 - and changed all of the above. It means all crypto transactions will now be subject to the stock tax rate of 27.5%.  The reform also means that long-term gains will be subject to tax - with the exclusion of so-called legacy holdings.

Austria crypto tax reform

Crypto acquired or bought after the 28th of February 2021 is subject to different tax rules. Crypto you acquired or bought before the 28th of February 2021 is still subject to the previous tax rules.

This means when you’ll pay 27.5% tax when you:

  • Sell crypto for fiat currency.
  • Spend crypto on goods or services.
  • Mine crypto.
  • Earn interest from crypto.

This said, you can opt in to the new tax rules from the 1st of January 2022.

But why would you want to? Well, it might reduce your 2022 tax bill depending on how much you earn.

As you can see from the Income Tax table above - anything earning more than €18,001 is paying 35% tax on short-term crypto gains and mining crypto already. So if you earn over this amount - it could actually benefit you to opt in for the crypto tax reform early and pay a lower tax rate of 27.5%.

As well as this, this isn’t the change that comes with the crypto reform bill. One of the big changes is trading one crypto for another will now be tax free.

While interest earning crypto transactions will remain taxed at the special tax rate of 27.5% - staking rewards from participation in a consensus algorithm will now be tax free at the point you receive them, whereas previously rewards were taxed as 27.5%. So if you're staking using a non-custodial wallet like Yoroi or Kelpr and receiving direct rewards - this wouldn't be taxed at the point you receive it, only when you later sell coins/tokens you earned. However, staking rewards from third parties - like Coinbase or Binance, or indeed staking via a DeFi protocol - would still be taxed at 27.5% at the point you receive them .

Finally, with crypto now being viewed as more similar to stocks from a tax perspective - you can now offset losses against other income from capital assets such as:

  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Dividends
  • Derivatives

It’s important to note - the new crypto tax rules don’t apply retrospectively. So if you’ve held crypto long-term, you don’t need to panic sell to ensure you don’t pay tax on it. Any crypto you acquired before the 28th of February 2021 will still be subject to the former tax rules.

Austria crypto tax reform changes.

How does this effect my tax return for the 2021 financial year?

With the Austrian tax deadline of the 30th of June looming - you might be worrying about what all these changes mean for your tax return for the 2021 financial year, so let's clarify.

The crypto tax reform came into effect on the 1st of March 2022 (although some taxpayers may request to opt for the new rules from the 31st of December 2021 instead to simplify tax reporting next year).

According to actus ag, cryptocurrencies acquired prior to the 28th of February 2021 are subject to the previous regulations - so taxable if sold within one year, or tax free after one year. These legacy holdings will remain tax free upon disposal if held for more than one year.

Meanwhile crypto acquired after the 28th of February 2021 and sold or exchanged prior to the 1st of March 2022 will most often be treated as other income - they remain taxable even if not sold within this year as they are not legacy holdings.

Finally, crypto acquired after the 28th of February 2021 and sold or exchanged after the 1st of March 2022 will be taxed at the new 27.5% tax rate, regardless of any holding period. From the 1st of March 2022, staking (as part of a PoS consensus mechanism) is now viewed as an acquisition from a tax perspective (tax free!) and crypto to crypto trades will no longer be taxable, while yielding income will also be taxed at the 27.5% tax rate - including disposals and income from lending and liquidity pools. It is also important to note that NFTs and other assets are not covered by these new provisions.

Koinly's Head of Tax, Tony Dhanjal says, "The tax obligation for cryptocurrencies came into force on March 1, 2022 and is applicable to cryptocurrencies acquired after February 28, 2021 (new stock). If cryptocurrencies are acquired after February 28, 2021 and sold before March 1, 2022, the provisions relating to old assets (speculative transactions) still apply."

In other words, your tax return this year (for the 2021 financial year) - should follow previous crypto tax rules. It is your tax return for the 2022 financial year that will be impacted by the rule change. Unless you requested to opt into the new rules from the 31st of December 2021, your crypto tax reporting for the 2022 financial year will have to be split between old stock and new stock in accordance with the acquisition date.

How to calculate crypto gains in Austria?

To calculate crypto gains, you need to first figure out your cost basis. This is how much it cost you to buy your crypto - including any transaction fees. If you’ve acquired your crypto another way - for example, through mining - you’ll instead take the fair market value of your crypto in euros on the day you acquired it.

Cost basis formula

Once you’ve got your cost basis, simply subtract your cost basis from the price you sold your crypto for. If you didn’t sell it, but instead traded it or spent it - instead take the fair market value of your crypto in euros on the day you traded/spent it and subtract your cost basis from this.

Capital gain formula

If you have a profit - you have a capital gain and this is what you’ll pay Income Tax on. If you have a loss, you have a capital loss and you won’t pay tax. Remember - under the old rules trades are taxable and you can’t offset losses. Under the new rules - trades aren’t taxed and you can offset losses.

Another important point to remember is that some crypto transactions are subject to Income Tax at the point you receive them. This would include anytime you’re earning crypto - for example through mining. In this instance, you’ll pay tax on the entire fair market value of your crypto at the point you receive it, like any other income.

It’s all a bit of a headache being stuck between two different sets of rules, so let’s look at a couple of examples for both sets of rules.

For crypto acquired before the 28th of February 2021 that you've held less than a year, you’ll calculate the amount of tax you’ll pay based on your income. Let’s look at an example.

EXAMPLE

You sell 1 ETH. You’ve held your ETH for less than a year - so you’ll need to pay Income Tax on it.

You earn €40,000 a year. This puts you in the 42% tax bracket. 

You bought your 1 ETH for €2,600. This is your cost basis.

You sold your 1 ETH for €3,500. Subtract this from your cost basis.

€3,500 - €2,600 = €900. You have a capital gain of €900 and you’ll pay 42% tax on that profit - so a total of €378.

For crypto acquired after the 28th of February 2021 - you’ll pay a flat tax rate of 27.5%. Let’s look at an example.

EXAMPLE

You sell 1 BTC. It doesn’t matter how long you held your BTC for as you’re under the new crypto tax rules. It also doesn’t matter what your income is. You’ll pay a flat tax rate of 27.5% on any capital gain - so let’s figure it out.

You bought your 1 BTC for €30,000. You sold your 1 BTC for €35,000.

€35,000 - €30,000 = €5000. This is your capital gain and you’ll pay 27.5% tax on it - so €1,375.

Austria crypto tax breaks

There are some tax breaks available for Austrian crypto investors - both under the old rules and the new rules.

  1. Personal Income Tax Allowance: If you earn less than €11,000 - you’ll pay no Income Tax in Austria. Of course, under the new crypto tax rules this would no longer be relevant.
  2. Long-term gains are tax free: If you’ve held your crypto for more than 1 year (and you acquired it before the 28th February 2021), when you sell your crypto it will be tax free.
  3. Speculative trades allowance: If you made less than €440 in profit annually in crypto gains, this would be tax free.

Austria crypto tax breaks

Austria crypto capital losses

Under the previous crypto tax rules - crypto losses did not count as a capital loss.

However, from the 1st March 2022 (or earlier if you opt in) you count crypto losses as a capital loss and offset losses against your capital gains. 

You can only offset losses against gains that are subject to the same taxation in Austria. This means you can only offset crypto losses against capital gains that are subject to the same 27.5% tax rate. This would include crypto capital gains as well as:

  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Dividends
  • Derivatives

Private investors cannot carry capital losses forward in Austria. If you’re holding capital assets as business assets, you may carry forward half your net capital loss forward to future financial years. 

Austria crypto capital losses

Tax on lost or stolen crypto in Austria

The BMF have not yet released specific guidance on whether capital losses as a result of theft or lost crypto assets are allowable as a capital loss. However, with the new crypto tax reform, provided you could give enough evidence to prove a theft or loss occurred, lost and stolen crypto could theoretically be considered a capital loss. You should speak to the BMF or with a tax advisor for more advice.

When is crypto taxed as income in Austria?

Some crypto transactions are viewed as additional income - which means they’ll be subject to tax at the point you receive the crypto, as opposed to at the point of disposal.

Like above, the rules vary depending on whether you acquired your crypto before the 28th of February 2021 or after. Let’s cover both.

Under the old crypto tax rules, mining crypto, bounty rewards and affiliate rewards are considered income. So you’ll pay Income Tax on mined coins or rewards based on their fair market value in euros on the day you receive them. If you later sell, trade or spend your coins within 1 year - you’ll pay Income Tax on any profits. 

Under the old crypto tax rules, these aren’t the only activities considered income. Other interest-bearing activities are also considered income. This includes:

  • Staking crypto.
  • Lending crypto.
  • Other interest-bearing activities like yield farming or liquidity mining.

Like with mining - you would pay tax on the fair market value of any coins/tokens on the day you received them. But you don’t pay Income Tax, instead you’ll pay a flat 27.5% tax on these transactions. 

Under the new crypto tax reform - all this is simplified. You’ll pay the flat 27.5% tax rate at the point you receive any coins/tokens from:

  • Mining crypto.
  • Staking crypto through a third-party or DeFi staking (staking as part of a consensus mechanism is tax free).
  • Lending crypto.
  • Bounty rewards.
  • Affiliate rewards.

New crypto tax rules Austria

As with many tax offices - the BMF is a bit behind the curve when it comes to the huge variety of crypto investments available. For example, they haven’t released any clear guidance on the huge variety of DeFi protocols that offer investors new ways to earn crypto. 

Many newer crypto activities may be considered income by the BMF. This includes:

  • Yield farming.
  • Liquidity mining.
  • Learn to earn.
  • Play to earn.
  • Watch to earn.
  • Shop to earn.
  • Crypto faucets.

The new crypto tax rules make this quite simple. Any time you’re earning crypto - you’ll pay the 27.5% flat tax based on the fair market value of any crypto at the point you receive it. Remember, even when you pay tax on crypto at the point you receive it - you’ll still pay the same 27.5% tax when you later sell or spend your crypto.

Tax free crypto Austria

Some crypto transactions are totally tax free in Austria - so it’s not all bad news.

  • Buying crypto with fiat currency.
  • HODLing crypto.
  • Selling or otherwise disposing of crypto acquired before the 28th of February 2021.
  • Moving crypto between wallets.
  • Gifting crypto.

As well as this, under the crypto tax reform - from the 1st of March 2022 the following crypto transactions are also tax free:

  • Trading crypto for crypto.
  • Staking rewards from PoS.

Tax free crypto Austria

Do you pay tax when you buy crypto in Austria?

No - you won’t pay tax when you buy crypto with euros or another fiat currency in Austria. 

But what about if you’re buying crypto with crypto? It all depends on when you do it.

Buying crypto tax Austria

Buying crypto with EUR

You don’t pay tax when you buy crypto with any fiat currency - like EUR - in Austria.

But it’s important you keep records of how much you purchased your crypto for. This is so you can keep records of your cost basis, so you can calculate any subsequent gains and losses accurately.

Buying crypto with EUR is tax free

TAX FREE

Buying and HODLing crypto

HODLer? Great strategy. In even better news, it’s also tax free to buy and HODL crypto. 

Just make sure you keep records of how much it cost you to buy your crypto (including transaction fees!) so you can accurately calculate any capital gains and losses once you’ve reached the moon.

TAX FREE

Buying crypto with crypto

As of the 1st of March 2022 (or earlier if you opted in) buying crypto with crypto is tax free.

If you haven’t opted in for the new crypto tax reform rules and you bought crypto with crypto before the 1st of March 2022 - any capital gain from a crypto trade is subject to Income Tax at your standard Income Tax rate. 

To calculate your capital gain, you'd use the cost base of your crypto you disposed of and subtract it from the fair market value for that asset on the day you traded it for another crypto.

Crypto to crypto trades are tax free

TAX FREE

Do you pay tax when you sell cryptocurrency in Austria?

Yes. You’ll pay tax whenever you sell cryptocurrency for euros in Austria. Under the new crypto tax rules, you’ll pay a flat 27.5% tax on any capital gain.

Selling crypto tax Austria

Selling crypto for EUR

Any capital gain from selling crypto acquired after the 28th of February 2021 for fiat currencies like EUR is subject to tax - although it matters when you bought and sold it.

If you bought crypto prior to the new crypto tax reform and sold it before the 1st March 2022 - any profit would be subject to your normal Income Tax rate. 

If you bought crypto after the 1st of March 2022 - and didn't opt in for the new tax rules at an earlier point - any profit would be subject to the 27.5% flat tax rate.

If you bought crypto prior to the 28th February March 2021 and you’ve held it more than 1 year - you’ll pay no tax on it when you sell, regardless of the new rules.

EXAMPLE

Tobias buys 1 ETH in 2019 and another 1 ETH 2022. He sells both of them in 2022.

Tobias will pay no tax on the 1 ETH he purchased in 2019. He does however need to pay tax on the 1 ETH he purchased in 2022. He’s requested to adopt the new crypto tax rules for his entire 2022 tax return as he’s a high earner, so he needs to pay a flat 27.5% tax on any capital gain from his 1 ETH.

He bought his 1 ETH for €2,600 and he sold it for €3,000. This means he has a capital gain of €400, which he’ll pay 27.5% tax on, so a total of €110.

TAX

Selling crypto for crypto

Under the 2022 Austrian crypto tax reform - selling crypto for crypto is tax free.

However, if you sold crypto before the 1st of March 2022, you’ll pay Income Tax on any capital gain made from a crypto trade.

TAX FREE

Do you pay tax when transferring crypto?

No - you won’t pay tax on your crypto when you’re transferring it between the various wallets and exchanges you use.

However - it is unclear how transfer fees may be viewed from a tax perspective. 

Moving crypto between wallets

Moving crypto between your own wallets is tax free! However, you need to keep good records of your crypto transactions - including transfers - because the tax treatment of transfer fees isn’t quite so clear cut.

Transferring crypto is tax free

TAX FREE

Transfer fees

Whenever you transfer crypto - you’ll normally pay a fee to do so, whether that’s a gas fee or a fee from the exchange or wallet provider. 

If that fee is paid in fiat currency - it would be tax free. However, in most instances, when you pay a transfer fee you’ll pay it in cryptocurrency. This could be seen as spending your crypto and therefore subject to tax.

Until the BMF gives clear guidance on transfer fees, one of the safest approaches to transfer fees from a tax perspective is to treat it as a cost with no realised gain or loss. Your cost basis remains the same, but you don’t have as much crypto as you had previously.

POTENTIAL TAX

Adding or removing liquidity

If you’re using DeFi protocols - there’s a good chance you’re investing in liquidity pools as part of this. The BMF hasn’t yet given any clear guidance on liquidity pools, but we can view this as similar to staking or even a crypto to crypto trade where liquidity pool tokens are involved. This means when you add or remove liquidity to a pool - like you would to a staking pool - you won’t pay tax. You’d only pay tax on any income as a result.

TAX FREE

How are airdrops and forks taxed in Austria?

The BMF has good guidance on how both airdrops and forks are taxed in Austria and it’s good news for both.

Hard forks

With a soft fork - you don’t receive any new coins, so there’s nothing to tax.

With a hard fork - you’ll receive new coins or tokens, but it’s good news - sort of. While forks are considered income by the BMF - they’re clear that the value of new coins from a hard fork on the day you receive them is €0. So this means you won’t pay tax at the point you receive coins/tokens from a hard fork.

However, the zero cost basis has a downside. It means when you sell coins/tokens from a hard fork - your entire proceeds will be considered a capital gain. So you’ll pay the 27.5% flat tax on the entire proceeds of your sale after the 1st of March 2022 (or at your regular Income Tax rate prior to this date).

tax on hard forks in Austria

TAX FREE

Airdrops

Airdrops are considered “capital inflows” by the BMF. Bit of a mouthful but what this means is that despite the fact that airdrops are seen as a kind of income - the cost basis of any airdrop is €0. So you won’t pay tax on airdropped coins/tokens at the point you receive them.

However, when you later sell your airdropped coins/tokens - your entire proceeds will be viewed as a capital gain because your cost basis is zero. So you’ll pay the flat 27.5% tax on the entire proceeds of your sale from the 1st of March 2022 (or at your regular Income Tax rate prior to this date).

Austria airdrops tax

TAX FREE

Crypto gifts and donations tax Austria

It’s good news if you’re feeling generous - there is no gift tax in Austria and donations to a registered charity may be tax deductible.

Gift and donations tax Austria

Gifting crypto

Austria has no gift tax, so gifting crypto to a friend or family member is tax free. The only stipulation is that gifts to relatives that are more than €50,000 in value should be reported to the BMF. Meanwhile for friends or third parties, this is set at €15,000.

TAX FREE

Donating crypto

The BMF doesn't have clear guidance on crypto donations specifically. However, donations to a registered charity in general are tax deductible. 

In better news,  there's no forms to do this - your donations are submitted to the BMF by the charitable organisation you donated to and automatically transferred to your employee tax assessment. 

TAX FREE

Crypto mining tax Austria

Mining is considered a type of income by the BMF and taxed based on the fair market value of the mined coins in euros on the day you receive them. The tax rate you’ll pay depends on when you mined your coins as it has changed with the crypto tax reform.

Austria crypto mining tax new rules

Mining crypto

If you mined coins before the 1st of March 2022 - you’ll pay Income Tax on mined coins at your normal tax rate bracket. If you mined coins after the 1st of March 2022, you’ll pay a flat 27.5% tax rate on your mined coins.

You’ll also pay tax when you sell or spend mined coins. If you sell, spend or trade mined coins prior to the 1st of March 2022, you'll pay your regular Income Tax rate on any profit. If you sell or spend mined coins after the 1st of March 2022, you'll pay the flat 27.5% tax on any profit. If you trade mined coins after the 1st of March 2022 - you'll pay no tax at all. Finally, if you mined coins before the 28th of February 2021 and you've held them more than a year - they'll be considered legacy holdings and you'll pay no tax on profits when you sell, trade or spend them.

TAX

Crypto day trading tax Austria

The BMF has no clear guidance for the tax treatment of trading activities such as crypto margin trading, futures and other CFDs. However, in general capital gains from financial assets like derivatives are in general subject to the same 27.5% tax rate that crypto is.

You should speak to a tax advisor for professional advice on how crypto derivatives and other CFDs may be taxed.

DeFi crypto taxes Austria

DeFi is a relatively new concept and the BMF are yet to issue any clear guidance on DeFi tax in Austria. This doesn’t mean you won’t pay tax - it just means you need to interpret the current tax guidance and apply it to your DeFi transactions.

Under the current guidance, the tax you’ll pay depends on the specific type of transaction and whether you’re seen to be earning crypto or selling/trading crypto. It is advisable to speak to an experienced crypto tax accountant for these transactions. This said, from the new crypto tax rules - we could assume the tax treatment of DeFi transactions is likely to be:

  • Earning interest from DeFi protocols: 27.5% tax on coins/tokens at the point you receive them and when you sell.
  • Borrowing from DeFi protocols: No tax.
  • Paying interest to DeFi protocols: Tax free, unless paying in crypto - then potentially 27.5% tax on crypto you spent.
  • Selling NFTs: 27.5% tax.
  • Trading NFTs: No tax.
  • Staking on DeFi protocols: 27.5% tax on coins/tokens at the point you receive them.
  • Yield farming DeFi protocols: 27.5% tax on coins/tokens at the point you receive them and when you sell.
  • Liquidity mining: 27.5% tax on coins/tokens at the point you receive them.
  • Adding/removing liquidity: No tax.
  • Earning through play/engage to earn DeFi protocols: 27.5% tax on coins/tokens at the point you receive them and when you sell.
  • Profits from DeFi margin trading and options protocols: 27.5.% tax on realised capital gains. 

DeFi tax Austria

Please note, this guidance is inline with the crypto tax reform. For transactions before this date - you would pay tax at your Income Tax rate in most instances, not the new 27.5% tax rate. . As well as this, prior to the 1st of March 2022 - unless you've opted in early - crypto to crypto trades may also be taxable.

Earning from DeFi protocols

Anytime you’re seen to be ‘earning’ from DeFi - whether that’s new coins or tokens, it’s likely that - like mining and staking - the BMF will view this as income and you’ll pay the 27.5% tax rate based on the fair market value of the crypto in euros on the day you received it.

If your transactions happened prior to the 1st of March 2022 (or the 1st of January 2022 if you adopted the new rules early) - you’ll instead need to pay tax at either your Income Tax rate or the 27.5% tax rate depending on the specific transaction and whether it was viewed as interest-bearing or not.

TAX

Selling coins and tokens on DeFi protocols

Whenever you sell coins/tokens on DeFi protocols - this would be subject to the 27.5% tax rate, even if you’ve already paid that rate at the point of receipt. 

If your transactions happened prior to the 1st of March 2022 (or the 1st of January 2022 if you want to adopt the new rules early) - you’ll instead need to pay tax at your normal Income Tax rate.

TAX

Do you pay tax when spending crypto?

Want to grab a Tesla with your DOGE? You might be in for a surprise tax bill.

Spending crypto on goods or services

When you spend your crypto, you’ll need to pay the 27.5% tax rate on any capital gain. You can calculate this by subtracting your cost basis from the fair market value of your crypto in euros on the day you spent it.

If you spent your crypto before the 1st of March 2022 (or the 1st of January 2022 if you want to adopt the new rules early) - you’ll instead need to pay tax at your normal Income Tax rate.

TAX

What kind of records might the BMF ask for?

Austrian tax returns aren’t too convoluted - but if you’re facing a crypto tax audit, you’ll need good records of your crypto transactions. As a minimum this should include:

  • The date of your transactions.
  • The fair market value of your crypto in EUR the day you acquired it.
  • The fair market value of your crypto in EUR the day you disposed of it.
  • The capital gain or loss you made from each transaction.
  • What the transaction was and the parties involved.
  • Receipts of purchase and sale.
  • Records of transfers and transactions from all your crypto wallets and exchanges.

Using crypto tax software like Koinly ensures you have excellent records of your crypto transactions should the BMF ever need further information.

Records for crypto taxes Austria

Austria Cost Basis Method

Provided you have good records at the time of purchase and sale, you can specifically identify each crypto asset you sold and use that cost basis to calculate your crypto gains and losses. If you’re unable or don’t want to do this, you can use FIFO instead.

Austria cost basis method

When do you need to report your crypto taxes to the BMF?

You report your crypto taxes in your annual tax return.

The Austrian financial year runs from the 1st of January to the 31st of December every year. The deadline to file your taxes is the 30th of April the following year for paper forms or the 30th of June the following year for online tax returns. This means the current financial year you’re reporting on is the 1st of January 2021 to the 31st of December 2021 and you need to submit your taxes by the 30th of April 2022 for postal tax returns or the 30th of June 2022 for online tax returns.

If you submit your tax returns through a certified tax advisor, the deadline is the 31st of March 2023.

Austrian tax deadline

How to calculate your crypto taxes

Calculating your crypto taxes so you can report them to the BMF is time consuming. You can do it all manually, or you can use a crypto tax calculator like Koinly to save you hours.

If you want to calculate your crypto taxes manually, follow these steps:

  1. Identify all your taxable crypto transactions for the entire financial year you're reporting on.
  2. Identify which transactions are subject to Income Tax and which are subject to the 27.5% tax rate.
  3. Identify the cost base for each transaction using the approved cost basis methods.
  4. Calculate your subsequent capital gains and losses, income and expenses.
  5. Report your capital gains, losses and income to the BMF in your annual tax return by the 30th of June.

How to report crypto taxes to the BMF

You report your crypto taxes as part of your annual tax return. You must submit this electronically using FinanzOnline before the 30th of June. Individuals need to report their crypto investments under “other income” on their Income Tax Return - E1. 

How to use a crypto tax app like Koinly

Don't get stuck in busywork. Don't get it wrong. Don't rely on your accountant to know where to look. Use Koinly to generate your HMRC crypto tax reports. Here's how easy it is:

1. Sign up for a FREE Koinly account.

It only takes a minute!

2. Select your base country and currency.

In this instance, Austria and Euros.

3. Select your accounting method.

Koinly supports FIFO.

Koinly Austria Settings

4. Connect Koinly to your wallets, exchanges or blockchains.

Koinly integrates with more than 350 crypto exchanges, wallets and blockchains (see all). If you can't find yours, let us know - we're always adding more.

5. Let Koinly crunch the numbers. Make a coffee.

Koinly will calculate your cost basis for each crypto asset like ETH, ADA and Bitcoin and taxes them accordingly. Koinly will calculate each capital gain or loss from your sales, as well as your crypto income and expenses.

6. Ta-da! Your data is collected and your full tax report is generated!

Head to the tax reports page in Koinly and check out your tax summary. This includes your net capital gains, other gains, income, costs, expenses and any gifts, donations or lost crypto.

Tax summary in Koinly

7. To download your crypto tax report, upgrade to a paid plan from €40 per year.

Download what you need, when you need it.

Tax reports on Koinly

8. Send your report to your accountant, or complete your Self Assessment Tax Return yourself.

Use the generated file to complete your annual tax return or send it over to your accountant. Done!

How to pay tax on cryptocurrency in Austria

Once you’ve filed your annual tax return with the BMF - they’ll let you know how much tax you owe on your crypto in your tax assessment. You have one month to pay the taxes due after you receive your tax assessment. 

How to avoid paying tax on crypto in Austria

There are ways to strategically - and legally - reduce your crypto taxes in Austria. You’ll need to make these moves before the end of the financial year. To potentially pay less tax on crypto in 2023 you can:

  • HODL crypto you bought before the 28th of February 2021: Any crypto you bought before February 2021 is a "legacy holding" and still benefits from the long-term capital gains tax free allowance. So provided you acquired your crypto before the 28th of February 2021 and you hold it for more than a year - you’ll pay no tax on it. Shoot for the moon!
  • Trade crypto for crypto: Trading crypto for crypto is tax free in Austria from the 1st of March 2022 - so the next time you’re thinking of selling for EUR, reinvest instead.
  • Opt to change to the new tax rates before 1st March 2022: If you’re earning more than €18,000 a year - you’ll pay a lower tax rate when you sell or spend crypto under the new rules. You can request to use the new tax rates from the 1st of January 2022 so not only does it make filing your crypto taxes simpler, it will also reduce your tax bill!
  • Make a donation: Gifts to registered charities are tax deductible. So if you sell your crypto and donate that amount to charity - you may be able to offset it against your income and reduce your overall tax bill.
  • Harvest your losses: Under the crypto tax reform, crypto capital losses can now be offset against capital gains of a similar kind. Use a crypto portfolio tracker (like Koinly) to track your unrealised losses and reduce your tax bill.

Get your Austria crypto tax report with Koinly

The information on this website is for general information only. It should not be taken as constituting professional advice from Koinly. Koinly is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. Koinly is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this website.

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