The popularity of cryptocurrencies and crypto investments continues to grow in Belgium, even throughout a turbulent 2022. While neighbouring countries have set forth clear guidelines about the taxation of cryptocurrencies and other crypto assets, Belgium’s crypto tax laws are often seen as complex and difficult to navigate.
It is important to understand the tax implications of buying and selling crypto, and to ensure that you are properly reporting your crypto-related gains and losses to the SPF – Service Public Fédéral Finances, or the Belgian General Administration of Taxes.
Yes. Individuals and businesses in Belgium are required to pay crypto taxes on their cryptocurrency transactions. This includes the purchasing and selling of crypto assets with/for fiat money as well as other transactions, like swapping one cryptocurrency for another, mining cryptocurrency or receiving crypto as a gift.
There seems to be a general lack of official guidance from the SPF regarding more advanced crypto transactions like staking, mining, airdrops or even forks. Discover what this means for you further down in our tax guide.
There are no specific crypto tax laws in Belgium. The Advance Decisions Service (SDA) published a note which specifies that: “Investments in cryptocurrencies are generally speculative in nature and the resulting income must therefore be treated as miscellaneous income”.
We can assume that crypto taxes in Belgium are similar to those for other assets without specific legal rules.
Therefore, gains from crypto-related transactions could be
<div fs-richtext-component="info-box" class="info-box"><div class="flex-info-card"><img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/65098a145ece52db42b9c274/650c6f4cef4c34160eab4440_Info.svg" loading="eager" width="64" height="64" alt="" class="icon-info-box"><div fs-richtext-component="info-box-text" class="info-box-content"><p class="color-neutral-800">There are a number of different facts and personal circumstances that may influence how crypto tax is applied in Belgium. Taxpayers in Belgium may request a binding tax ruling for an official guidance on their individual situation. Previous tax rulings are publicly available on the official website of the Belgian tax authority.</p></div></div></div>
There is a lot of speculation about the deciding factors of a crypto tax ruling.
An analysis of the official rulings shows commonalities between the cases where a tax-exemption was denied:
We have provided more details about the different types of investors and the official self-assessment questionnaire in the next sections.
Capital gains tax is the most common form of crypto taxation in Belgium.
It is used to tax any capital gains or profits generated from cryptocurrency transactions including the sale of cryptocurrency for fiat (exchanging Bitcoin for Euro, for example) or the exchange of cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency (exchanging Bitcoin for Ether, for example).
The capital gains tax rate on speculative income such as crypto is a flat rate of 33%.
The capital gains tax formula is very straightforward:
((Value of the cryptocurrency at time of sale – any fees or commissions related to the sale) – Value of the cryptocurrency at time of purchase) * 33%
A simpler example:
The formula now looks like this:
((15.000€ – 5€) – 10.000€) * 33% = 4.995€ * 33% = 1.648,35€
In this case, the capital gains tax would only apply to your profit of 4.995€, resulting in a tax payment of 1.648,35€.
<div fs-richtext-component="info-box" class="info-box protip"><div class="flex-info-card"><img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/65098a145ece52db42b9c274/650c6f4b151815fb0be48cec_Lightning.svg" loading="eager" width="64" height="64" alt="" class="icon-info-box"><div fs-richtext-component="info-box-text" class="info-box-content"><p class="color-neutral-800">Let’s say you sold your crypto for a lower amount than when you bought it. This means that you have incurred a loss. You will not pay capital gains tax on a loss. However, you might be able to use this crypto loss to offset your gains from other crypto transactions.</p></div></div></div>
In some cases, gains from crypto transactions may be considered as professional income. This could be income from professional crypto mining activities, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) or airdrops, besides others.
Professional income is subject to a progressive tax scale:
There appears to be some confusion about progressive tax brackets, so let’s look at an example:
You have earned 25.000€ as a result of Bitcoin mining. You do not pay 45% income tax on the whole 25.000€ . Instead, that amount will be split up into the corresponding tax brackets and taxed accordingly.
This results in a total tax obligation of 8.023,15€.
Here’s the formula:
(13.540€ * 25%) + (10.359€ * 40%) + (1.099€ + 45%) = 8.023,15€
Alt: Progressive income tax rates for crypto investments in Belgium
<div fs-richtext-component="info-box" class="info-box"><div class="flex-info-card"><img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/65098a145ece52db42b9c274/650c6f4cef4c34160eab4440_Info.svg" loading="eager" width="64" height="64" alt="" class="icon-info-box"><div fs-richtext-component="info-box-text" class="info-box-content"><p class="color-neutral-800">Every taxpayer in Belgium is entitled to a “tax-free allowance”, meaning that income below that amount will not be taxed. The tax-free allowance for the financial year 2022 is 9.050€/year. The tax-free allowance for the financial year 2023 is 9.270€/year. </p></div></div></div>
Individual municipalities in Belgium may levy an additional communal tax on top of the income tax. The communal tax rate ranges from 0% to 9%, the average being 7%.
Here is the complete list of communal tax rates in Belgium.
Gifted cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency received as a donation is subject to a gift tax in Belgium.
The gift tax is calculated like this:
Market value of the gift at the time of the donation – Cost of the gift at time of purchase
The tax authorities in Belgium differentiate between three types of investors, to whom different tax rates apply.
Capital gains for individual investors are generally tax-free in Belgium UNLESS they fall under specific types of capital gains – including gains from speculative activities, which covers most crypto investments.
As mentioned above, capital gains tax in Belgium is a flat tax of 33%.
There are, however, circumstances under which individuals do not have to pay capital gains tax on crypto in Belgium. More on that in the next section.
If you generate your income from professional investment activities or crypto mining, it will be taxed at the progressive income tax rates from 25% to 50% as shown above.
Crypto gains from corporate investment activities are taxed at the corporate income tax rate of 25%.
For the purposes of this crypto tax guide, we will assume that you are acting as an individual investor and are not a corporation.
In that case, the Belgian tax authorities distinguish between three categories of individual investors. Let’s have a look!
Gains from cryptocurrency transactions are tax free in Belgium if they are carried out without speculative insight and within the “normal management of private assets”.
What is normal and what is speculative is, of course, highly subjective and can differ from investor to investor.
As a rule of thumb, a “prudent investment” requires that only a reasonable amount of your total investment is allocated towards crypto assets and a long-term strategy is in place.
If the SPF determines you to be a prudent investor, you do not need to include your crypto transactions in your tax report.
<div fs-richtext-component="info-box" class="info-box"><div class="flex-info-card"><img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/65098a145ece52db42b9c274/650c6f4cef4c34160eab4440_Info.svg" loading="eager" width="64" height="64" alt="" class="icon-info-box"><div fs-richtext-component="info-box-text" class="info-box-content"><p class="color-neutral-800">The SPF – Service Public Fédéral Finance has provided a self-assessment questionnaire to help determine if you are a prudent investor. The questionnaire includes 17 questions about your investment activities. We’ve included the questions in the next section.</p></div></div></div>
You might fall under the category of a speculative investor if you are taking risks with crypto investments, are investing only for a short period of time or if you are utilizing more advanced trading strategies.
If the SPF determines this to be the case, you will have to pay a flat capital gains rate of 33% + communal taxes on your crypto gains.
Crypto gains from professional investment activities qualify as professional income and are therefore subject to the progressive personal income tax rates between 25% and 50% + communal taxes.
Additionally, professional income may also trigger social security contributions.
So, what kind of investor are you? And who is to decide? The SPF, of course.
There is an official list of questions to determine which kind of crypto investor you are, if you need to pay crypto tax in Belgium – and if so, how much.
The official list of questions for 2022 is hosted here:
And we have included an english translation here for your convenience:
No, there is no crypto tax in Belgium for buying crypto with fiat money like Euro.
Selling cryptocurrency for fiat is a taxable transaction resulting in a capital gains tax if the sale realizes a gain.
Swapping one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency is a taxable transaction resulting in a capital gains tax if the exchange realizes a gain.
Taxation of crypto mining in Belgium can be a bit more complicated.
Miners receive cryptocurrency as a reward for ensuring the integrity of the crypto network and verifying the transactions on the respective blockchain.
There is an ongoing discussion about the classification of the rewards generated by mining. Some argue that mining rewards should be qualified as self-produced assets, while others consider it as a form of payment for the services rendered to the network.
As there currently is no clear guidance, crypto miners should contact the SPF for an individual assessment.
Staking serves a similar purpose to mining, in that it is a process to validate transaction blocks in a blockchain.
Neither the ruling commission nor the tax administration have taken a final position on the staking of cryptocurrency or similar DeFi transactions.
Once again, as there is no clear guidance on the topic of staking cryptocurrency in Belgium, investors should contact the SPF for an individual assessment.
There is no clear guidance on the crypto taxation of airdrops in Belgium.
In an individual ruling from 03.05.2022, it was decided that the gains from all crypto transactions including free airdrops will be taxed as miscellaneous income: capital gains tax at 33%.
There is no crypto tax on losses in Belgium.
However, losses from crypto transactions can offset gains from crypto transactions. This is a common way to reduce the total tax liability in your crypto tax declaration.
Crypto trading fees are considered in the calculation of capital gains tax or income tax, where they are subtracted from the value of the cryptocurrency at the time of the sale.
There is no official guidance on VAT treatment of crypto assets, other than the European court of Justice (ECJ) decision (Skatteverket v David Hedqvist Case C-264/14).
The court ruled that cryptocurrencies are a contractual means of payment and that transactions relating to such currencies constitute financial transactions.
No VAT tax on purchases or sales of crypto currencies in Belgium then.
Tax loss harvesting in crypto is a tax strategy that involves selling crypto assets that have decreased in value in order to offset taxable gains on other crypto assets.
The basic idea is to sell the crypto asset at a loss and then use that loss to offset taxable gains on other crypto assets that you’ve sold during the year.
HODLing your cryptocurrencies, that is keeping them for a long period of time without selling or exchanging them, is tax-free. HODLing might also increase your chances to be considered a “prudent investor”, which would mean no taxes on any crypto gains!
There are many things you can do (or refrain from doing) that will help you achieve “prudent investor” status with the SPF. Refer to the previous section “Which investor are you?” for inspiration.
There are, once again, no specific guidelines regarding the inventory methods used to calculate gains and losses for the purpose of crypto tax in Belgium.
Taxpayers are free to decide which crypto inventory method is most suitable for their situation.
Here’s a quick overview of the three common methods:
Under FIFO, it is assumed that the first cryptocurrency units purchased or acquired are the first ones sold or transferred. This means that the cost basis of the oldest units in a cryptocurrency wallet or portfolio is used to calculate the gains, losses, or value of the units sold or transferred.
The cost basis of the most recent units acquired is used to calculate the value of the remaining units in the portfolio.
The LIFO inventory method for cryptocurrencies assumes that the most recent units of cryptocurrency acquired or purchased are the first ones sold or transferred. This means that the cost basis of the most recent units in a cryptocurrency wallet or portfolio is used to calculate the gains, losses, or value of the units sold or transferred, while the cost basis of the oldest units is used to calculate the value of the remaining units in the portfolio.
The LIFO method is less commonly used than the FIFO method for cryptocurrencies because it can result in higher capital gains taxes in a rising market, but it may be useful for tax planning purposes.
The HIFO inventory method for cryptocurrencies involves selling or transferring the units with the highest cost basis first. This means that the gains or losses realized from selling or transferring cryptocurrency are based on the units with the highest acquisition cost.
This method is often used to minimize capital gains taxes and maximize profits. However, tracking and implementing the HIFO method can be more complex and time-consuming than other methods, and it may not be suitable for all investors or traders.
The AVCO inventory method for cryptocurrencies calculates the average cost of all units acquired or purchased and uses this average cost as the basis for determining the value of the units sold or transferred.
This means that the cost basis for each unit of cryptocurrency is the same, regardless of when it was acquired or purchased. The AVCO method is simple to use and can be an efficient way to calculate gains or losses on cryptocurrency transactions.
However, it may not be appropriate for all situations and may not provide an accurate representation of the actual cost basis for each unit of cryptocurrency.
<div fs-richtext-component="info-box" class="info-box"><div class="flex-info-card"><img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/65098a145ece52db42b9c274/650c6f4cef4c34160eab4440_Info.svg" loading="eager" width="64" height="64" alt="" class="icon-info-box"><div fs-richtext-component="info-box-text" class="info-box-content"><p class="color-neutral-800">It can be beneficial to consult with a tax professional and consider the specific circumstances of your cryptocurrency transactions before deciding on any of these inventory methods.</p></div></div></div>
It does appear so. Or they are at least doing everything they can to enforce crypto tax obligations on Belgian taxpayers.
Cointelegraph reported that the Belgian Special Tax Inspectorate (STI) is looking for Belgian crypto investors with crypto holdings in foreign exchanges.
Belgian tax authorities appear to be using double taxation treaties with countries like the US to receive information about Belgian customers on crypto exchanges like Coinbase.
There have been multiple cases of crypto investors reporting they received letters from the SPF asking for an overview of all crypto trades going back for multiple years.
Looking into the near future, the EU-wide DAC8 directive (8th amendment to the Directive on Administrative Cooperation) will legally oblige exchanges and other crypto asset service providers to report their customers’ transactions to EU member states’ authorities.
We therefore highly recommend keeping track of all of your crypto transactions with a free crypto portfolio tracker like Blockpit.
You are responsible for maintaining the necessary records related to your crypto investment. That includes:
You are probably aware by now that crypto taxes in Belgium can be difficult to navigate. It is important to stay on top of the various events that can lead to capital gains tax, income tax or even gift tax.
Be sure to request an official tax evaluation from the SPF to determine which type of investor you are and into which categories your transactions fall.
We realize how much work, pain and frustration can go into your crypto tax declaration, which is why we developed Blockpit’s crypto tax calculator.
Our crypto tax solution automatically imports all relevant data from exchanges, wallets and various blockchains and exports your personal tax report using the Belgian tax-framework.
All you have to do is enter the values from your Blockpit tax report into your yearly tax declaration. That’s it. No more headaches. Try it now!
<div fs-richtext-component="info-box" class="info-box protip"><div class="flex-info-card"><img src="https://assets-global.website-files.com/65098a145ece52db42b9c274/650c6f4b151815fb0be48cec_Lightning.svg" loading="eager" width="64" height="64" alt="" class="icon-info-box"><div fs-richtext-component="info-box-text" class="info-box-content"><p class="color-neutral-800">Accountants love us, too! You can save on time and fees by sharing your Blockpit crypto tax report with your accountant. They’ll thank you for it.</p></div></div></div>
As of publication of this tax guide, the SPF has not yet released deadlines for tax declarations for the financial year 2022.
For the time being, we will include deadlines from the past year. It is fair to expect that the dates will be somewhat similar in 2023.
Taxable profits from crypto investments must be reported to the tax authorities in Belgium via an annual tax return.
You need to report the net gain or loss, as well as any income generated from your transactions for the financial year 2022.
In some cases, the tax authorities might also request a full list of all transactions, including the date of purchase, date of sale, amount of proceeds, cost of cryptocurrency, and any other associated costs.
You can file your crypto tax return in Belgium either online or via paper.
Filing your return online is generally faster and easier, as your return is already pre-filled with information that has already been provided by your employer.
Filing online requires either a Belgian electronic ID card or Itsme.
If you’ve ever filed a tax return, you know how many hours can go into research, documentation, and preparation.
With Blockpit’s legally compliant tax reports designed for the Belgian tax framework you’ll receive a comprehensive overview of all crypto transactions.
Our tax engine automatically calculates your capital gains and losses as well as the tax-relevant amount from income transactions. Based on our comprehensive tax report you can easily fill in the right amounts in your tax return.
Your Blockpit tax report also includes detailed statements about your total holdings, as well as chronological overviews of each individual transaction.
Using Blockpit couldn’t be easier:
Blockpit offers direct integrations for crypto exchanges, wallets and DeFi protocols. Automatically import your transactions via API integration, wallet address synchronization, or by manually uploading an Excel file.
Blockpit offers smart insights and suggestions to optimize your tax report, fix issues, add missing values and to validate your transactions.
Generate your compliant tax report with the click of a button. Our tax engine calculates your tax report on the basis of the Belgian tax framework.