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Tax and cryptocurrencies: why we need more than a nudge

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HMRC believes that many UK taxpayers have underpaid tax due on cryptocurrency transactions and is sending out ‘nudge letters’ to investors. Cryptoassets are not subject to any special tax rules in the UK, so their taxation depends on general principles. But as HMRC’s interpretation differs from the approach proposed by other leading academics and institutions, which in turn differs again from the approach taken in the embryonic court cases starting to be heard, many investors and advisers are unsure how to approach the question of what to tell, or not tell, HMRC. Without specific legislation, different approaches are likely to be the norm for years to come.

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