Article by Dr. Steffen Kranz, LL.M. in NWB-EV No. 7 of 06.07.2022 Page 214
The tax authorities have disclosed their opinion regarding individual questions on the income tax
treatment of virtual currencies and other tokens in the BMF letter dated May 10, 2022. The
classification of virtual currencies as other assets within the meaning of Section 23 (1) sentence 1 no.
2 sentence 1 EStG is uniformly and unambiguously affirmed within the fiscal court rulings and the
BMF letter. This article provides an overview of the status quo regarding the income taxation of
virtual currencies, as it is presented in essential points on the basis of fiscal court rulings and the BMF
letter. However, this should not obscure the fact that this presentation is only a status report due to
the advancing dynamics of the topic.
- According to the tax authorities, the extension of the divestment period under Section 23 (1)
sentence 1 no. 2 sentence 4 EStG does not apply to virtual currencies.
- In the context of proof-of-stake networks, a distinction must be made between so-called
forging and so-called staking with regard to the activities of the taxpayers, according to the
- In the cases of mining (with proof of stake) and forging, the tax authorities assume that a
commercial activity and thus no private asset management exists.
- In the opinion of the tax authorities, income from staking should be included in income from
services within the meaning of Section 22 No. 2 of the German Income Tax Act (EStG).
- Mining and forging constitute acquisition transactions in the view of the tax authorities, both
in terms of block rewards and transaction fees.
- In the view of the tax authorities, virtual currency units are to be regarded as non-securitized
receivables and rights comparable to securities and thus as assets within the meaning of Sec.
4 (3) Sentence 4 EStG.
- Cooperation and recording obligations are not the subject of the BMF letter, but are to be
dealt with within the scope of a first supplement to the BMF letter, whereby the publication
of this supplement is not to be expected before the 4th quarter of 2022.
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