Have you invested in or traded cryptocurrencies and are not sure how it may affect your taxes? To help Austrian taxpayers better understand how crypto assets are actually taxed in Austria, the Ministry of Finance, or das Bundesministerium für Finanzen (BMF), has released a completely new cryptocurrency tax reform that went into effect on March 1, 2022. In this complete tax guide, you will learn everything you need to know about how crypto is taxed in Austria, how much tax you need to pay on your crypto profits, what the new tax reform means for your crypto tax situation, and how to use a crypto tax calculator to generate all the tax reports you need.
Just a heads up! This guide is quite extensive due to the complex nature of cryptocurrency taxes. While we recommend reading this guide from A to Z the first time to make sure you don’t miss out on anything important, you can also use the menu navigation on the right side to jump to any specific crypto tax question later.
We are also updating this guide regularly based on the latest tax guidelines and statements from the Austrian Ministry of Finance. All updates will be listed below so that you can quickly see if anything has been updated since your last visit:
- August 9, 2022: The first version published
More specifically, these are the topics and questions we will address in this guide:
Let’s start with the most important question of all…
Do you pay taxes on crypto in Austria?
The answer is that it depends. Under the new tax reform, all profits from selling or disposing of cryptocurrency are taxed as income from capital assets no matter how long you held the asset before selling. However, exchanging one cryptocurrency for another is considered an intermediate trade and is not taxed, so the taxation kicks in only when a crypto asset is converted to euro or another fiat currency.
You might also need to pay tax on crypto received as income such as mining rewards, but only when the BMF deems the income to have been generated as we will discover in more detail later in this guide.
In the next section, we will look closer at how crypto is actually taxed in Austria.
How is crypto taxed in Austria?
Before the new crypto tax reform came into place, cryptocurrency held for one year or longer before being sold was considered long-term gains and was completely tax-free. On the other hand, cryptocurrency held for less than a year was considered short-term gains and was taxed at progressive tax rates similar to ordinary income.
However, after the new tax reform, cryptocurrencies are taxed as income from capital assets at a fixed rate of 27.5% instead. This is important to understand because the date when you acquired the crypto assets will determine how you are taxed – even if you sell the assets after the new tax reform was made effective.
Now that we understand the basics of how crypto is taxed, we might wonder how the BMF actually classifies crypto assets from a legal perspective.
According to the Austrian Income Tax Act, cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender, currency, or money like the euro or US dollar. Instead, the BMF views cryptocurrencies as a digital representation of value that is not controlled by a central bank but is used by natural persons for exchanging or transferring value.
Does this mean that the BMF considers all crypto assets to be included in this definition? The short answer is no. Here is what the BMF has stated in the latest tax guidance:
(…) The definition does not cover “non-fungible tokens” (NFT) and “asset tokens” underpinned by real assets, such as securities or property. These products are taxed according to general tax regulations, depending on nature of the tokens concerned.Das Bundesministerium für Finanzen
There is no mention in the new crypto guideline of how NFTs and asset tokens are actually taxed, so our interpretation is that the same tax rules that will be discussed in this guide also apply to such assets. If you are in doubt, we recommend consulting a tax advisor in Austria or the BMF directly of course.
Next, we will look at the consequences of the new tax reform that came into effect on the 1st of March 2022 and how this affects your crypto tax situation.
Prior to the new tax reform
Before March of 2022, realized gains from crypto were classified as either long-term or short-term, where long-term gains were completely tax exempt. To qualify as a long-term gain, you must have owned the asset for a minimum of 12 months before selling. Short-term gains are thus assets held for less than 12 months before selling.
These are the same rules also adopted by other countries such as Germany and have made Austria viewed by many as a crypto-friendly country from a tax perspective.
New crypto tax reform Austria
With the new tax reform being adopted by the 1st of March 2022, the BMF does not tax cryptocurrency held for one year or longer differently than crypto held for less than a year. The second major change is that instead of being taxed at progressive income tax rates, all crypto profits are taxed at a fixed rate of 27.5% similar to other income from capital assets such as stocks and bonds.
However, these changes only affect cryptocurrency bought after February 28, 2021. Cryptocurrency bought or acquired before this date is termed “old assets“, while crypto bought after this date is termed “new assets“. This is important because if you own cryptocurrency today that was acquired before this date, you will not be taxed on the profits when you sell the coins in the future.
The BMF also states in the new tax guidance that if you have realized crypto profits between 1 January 2021 and 1 March 2022, each taxpayer is free to choose whether the disposals should be considered under the old or new tax reform. This might be worth looking into because taxing your profits according to the new reform might actually reduce your taxes if your income tax rate exceeds the fixed capital asset tax rate of 27.5%.
The third major change is that exchanging one cryptocurrency for another is not considered a taxable disposal. This is good news for all Austrian crypto investors since you can essentially avoid paying taxes on your crypto holdings completely until you convert your assets to euro or another fiat currency.
In addition to the changes related to the taxation of cryptocurrency sold or disposed of mentioned so far, there are also new changes to cryptocurrency received as mining, staking, interest, airdrops, etc that we will explain in more detail later in this guide.
Tax rates Austria
There are essentially two types of taxes that Austrian taxpayers need to consider, namely income from capital assets and other income.
Let’s look at both in more detail.
Income from capital assets
In Austria, all income from the sale or disposal of capital assets is taxed at a fixed rate of 27.5%. Typical capital assets are stocks, equities, bonds, and real estate, but includes also cryptocurrencies after the new tax reform came into effect on March 1st, 2022.
Other income tax rates
Austria uses a progressive tax-rate system which means that your tax-rate increases with your total income. Income below €11,000 is tax-free, but income above that is taxed anywhere between 20% and 55%.
As already mentioned, crypto assets bought or acquired before the 28th of February 2021 are considered old assets and are therefore taxed as other income rather than as income from capital assets.
The income tax rates in Austria for the 2021 tax year are as follows:
|Taxable income||Tax rate|
|€0 – €11,000||0%|
|€11,001 – €18,000||20%|
|€18,001 – €31,000||35%|
|€31,001 – €60,000||42%|
|€60,001 – €90,000||48%|
|€90,001 – €1,000,000||50%|
How to calculate crypto gains
So far in this guide, we have learned that according to the new tax reform, only gains from transactions where cryptocurrency is exchanged for fiat currency are taxed. But how do we actually go about calculating the gains on our crypto disposals?
When working out the realized gains for each transaction, we need to determine both the sales price and purchase price of the cryptocurrency being sold or disposed of. The selling price, also called the proceeds, is simply the value of the crypto asset sold at the time of the transaction in euro, while the purchase price should be determined using an accounting method such as First-in First-out (FIFO). The purchase price, or the cost basis, should also include any trading fees or brokerage fees associated with the transaction. This means that all directly associated costs are fully tax-deductible.
The general formula for calculating realized gains is defined as:
realized gain = selling price – purchase price
If you are not able to establish the purchase price, a conservative approach is to consider the value to be zero. However, this means that you need to pay tax on the full amount, and therefore more tax than you actually should.
Let’s look at two examples to better understand how to calculate the realized gains from crypto trades.
Lukas bought 1 ETH in January 2022 for €3,000. In February he bought another 2 ETH for €5,000. Lukas now owns 3 ETH with a total acquisition price of €8,000.
Later in 2022, he decides to sell 2 ETH for €6,000. Using FIFO, we find the cost basis directly as €3,000 + 1 / 2 * €5,000 = €5,500. His realized gains then become €6,000 – €5,500 = €500.
Since all realized gains are taxed as income from capital assets at a fixed rate of 27.5%, Lukas will need to pay €500 * 27.5% = €137.50 in taxes.
Peter has been active in the crypto market for a few years. He found Solana to be rather interesting and has traded the cryptocurrency on several occasions during 2022.
To simplify the example, we assume that he has four transactions in total during 2022. First, he bought 1.2 BTC for €40,000 in January. Later in February, he exchanged some of his BTC for SOL on two occasions. Then finally he sold all of his SOL for €30,000 in April. His transactions can be seen in the table below:
|Trade||2022-02-08||0.2 BTC → 80 SOL||–||(?)||–|
|Trade||2022-02-10||0.3 BTC → 140 SOL||–||(?)||–|
The second and third transactions are considered intermediate trades and are not taxed, but he needs to calculate the cost basis of the SOL tokens acquired from the BTC that was sold.
- Cost basis 80 SOL acquired (2022-02-08): 0.2 / 1.2 * €40,000 = €6,667
- Cost basis 140 SOL acquired (2022-02-10): 0.3 / 1.2 * €40,000 = €10,000
Now that we know the acquisition cost of the SOL tokens acquired in February, we find the realized gains directly as €30,000 – €6,667 – €10,000 = €13,333.
The resulting table will look like this:
|Trade||2022-02-08||0.2 BTC → 80 SOL||–||€6,667||–|
|Trade||2022-02-10||0.3 BTC → 140 SOL||–||€10,000||–|
The total amount of tax Peter needs to pay becomes €13,333 * 27.5% = €3,667.
Compensation for crypto losses
Now that cryptocurrencies are considered equal to other capital assets for tax purposes after the new tax reform came in place, both profits and losses associated with income from cryptocurrencies count towards your total income from capital assets together with the sale of shares and bonds, dividends, etc.
This means that how much you pay in tax from capital assets depends on how much profits and losses you made on all different assets. Let’s look at an example.
You sold some shares in 2022 and made a total profit of €5,000. You also received €2,000 worth of dividends during the tax year. After using Coinpanda to calculate your crypto taxes, you find that you have made a net realized loss of €3,000 from crypto trading in 2022. So how much do you need to actually pay in tax on your capital assets?
+ €5,000 profit from shares
+ €2,000 income from dividends
– €3,000 loss from cryptocurrencies
= €4,000 in net income
Of the $4,000 you have in net income, you pay 27.5% tax which equals €1,100.
Is buying crypto taxed in Austria?
Whether or not you are taxed when buying cryptocurrency depends on several factors:
- Which currency is used as payment to acquire the cryptocurrency
- The date on which you made the transaction
- When the currency disposed of was initially acquired
Let’s look at this in more detail.
Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency
Acquiring a cryptocurrency and paying with fiat currency is not taxed in Austria. This applies to both the old and new tax reforms, so you don’t need to worry about any taxes for transactions involving fiat currencies as means of payment for acquiring another cryptocurrency.
Buying crypto and paying with another crypto
Now things start to get a bit more complicated since we have to consider different rules according to both the old and new tax reforms.
Buying cryptocurrency with another cryptocurrency is tax-free from the 1st of March 2022, or after the 31st of December 2021 if you have decided to opt into the new tax reform earlier. Even if the asset disposed of is considered an “old asset” by being acquired on or before the 28th of February 2021, the gains are not taxed because they will automatically qualify as long-term gains according to the old tax reform.
If you bought crypto with crypto before the new tax reform comes into effect, the tax outcome depends on how long you held the crypto asset before disposing of it:
- long-term gains for assets held for 12 months or longer are tax-free
- short-term gains are taxed as other income at your ordinary income tax rate
Not taxed (depends)
Is selling crypto taxed in Austria?
Selling cryptocurrency, whether the currency received as payment is a fiat currency or another cryptocurrency, is taxed differently in the new reform vs. the old reform. This means that we need to take into account the date of the transaction and when the currency disposed of was acquired to understand the actual tax implications.
Selling cryptocurrency for fiat currency
Selling a cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat currency is always a taxable event according to both the old and new tax reforms, but there are some important considerations that will decide the amount of tax we need to pay – or if we need to pay any tax at all.
Cryptocurrency acquired after the 28th of February 2021 is considered a “new asset” and is taxed as a capital asset at a fixed rate of 27.5% if the disposal happened when the new tax reform is in effect – sometime between the 1st of January 2022 and the 31st of March 2022 depending on if you decided to opt-in early or not.
On the other hand, if the disposal happened before the new tax reform, it will be subject to the old tax reform and taxed as other income according to the progressive income tax rates. But keep in mind that if you held the asset for 12 months or longer, the gain is considered a long-term gain which is tax-free. This applies also to assets acquired on or before the 28th of February 2021 considered “old assets”.
Capital asset income
Selling crypto for another crypto
Selling crypto for another crypto is similar to buying crypto for another crypto and is tax-free according to the new reform, but might be taxed under the old reform depending on the holding period of the asset sold. See the section “buying crypto and paying with another crypto” above for more details.
Not taxed (depends)
Taxes on crypto mining rewards
Cryptocurrency received as mining rewards is considered to be income by the BMF and is therefore taxed similar to realized gains from the disposal of crypto assets. This means that mining rewards earned during the old tax reform are taxed as other income according to the progressive tax rates, while rewards earned after the new reform are taxed as capital assets at a fixed rate of 27.5%.
Any costs directly associated with the mining operation, such as electricity or hardware, are only deductible if the taxpayer makes use of the standard taxation option – Regelbesteuerungsoption. More information can be found here.
Capital asset income
Taxes on staking rewards
In the new tax guideline, the BMF states that only income deemed to have been generated is subject to taxation at the time of the transaction. Cryptocurrency income that is not considered to be generated is therefore tax-free at the time of receipt. Here is what the BMF says about staking:
(…) current income is not deemed to have been generated if the service associated with processing the transaction consists primarily of investing (staking) existing cryptocurrencyDas Bundesministerium für Finanzen
Based on this statement, there is little doubt that the BMF considers cryptocurrency received from staking as tax-free. However, since the cryptocurrency received has been acquired at zero cost, the full amount will be taxed when the crypto is sold later since a zero cost basis will be assumed.
Are crypto airdrops taxed?
From a tax perspective, the Austrian Ministry of Finance considers cryptocurrency airdrops to be of similar nature as cryptocurrency staking rewards and are therefore not taxed at the time of receipt according to the new tax reform.
But keep in mind that you will need to pay income tax from capital assets at a fixed rate of 27.5% when you dispose of the airdropped tokens in the future.
Other types of crypto transactions
By now it should (hopefully!) be fairly clear how buying, selling, mining, and staking cryptocurrency is taxed in Austria – despite of two different tax reforms that must be considered by many people. But what about all the other transaction types and different ways to interact with crypto assets? This is exactly what we will address next, so keep on reading to learn more.
Tax on hard forks
The BMF defines a hard fork as an “alteration from the original blockchain” – but the practical definition we think of is rather that new coins are created as a result of a blockchain split happening.
No matter how you define what a hard fork is, the BMF does not consider income from hard forks to be generated, and the income is therefore completely tax-free similar to staking rewards and airdrops.
Luckily for Austrian taxpayers, there is no gift tax on cryptocurrencies or other capital assets. This means that whether you are gifting cryptocurrency to a friend, a family member, or a person you don’t even know in real life, you are not taxed on the crypto asset given. However, there are certain thresholds for when the gift must be reported to the BMF.
While not stated explicitly in the new tax reform by the BMF, it is likely that the receiver of the gift takes on a cost basis equal to the original cost basis of the coins you gifted. In other words, the cost basis is transferred from the sender to the receiver without triggering a taxable event.
Receiving salary in a cryptocurrency
Being paid in cryptocurrency, either as salary from employment or in exchange for services as a freelancer, is taxed similar to being paid in euro or another fiat currency. This means that from a tax perspective, there is no practical difference in what type of currency you receive your compensation – the income amount will be taxed as income according to the progressive tax rates in all cases.
To calculate the income amount in euros at the time of receipt, you can use cryptocurrency prices from any reputable exchange. Your employer should also provide you with all the required documents you need to file your taxes the next year.
How to calculate crypto taxes in Austria
If you are an Austrian resident and have transacted with cryptocurrency during 2022, you need to calculate the realized gains and income from all transactions. There are essentially two different ways to go about this – either manually or using a crypto tax calculator.
Let’s look at both methods:
Calculating your crypto taxes manually
Here are the steps you must take to calculate your crypto taxes manually:
- Download the transaction history from all exchanges where you have bought, sold, received, or sent any cryptocurrency. This includes also transactions from or to your own wallets.
- Calculate the cost basis for every individual transaction where cryptocurrency is disposed of
- Calculate the proceeds and resulting capital gains for all transactions that are considered taxable disposals by the BMF in Austria
- Identify all transactions subject to income tax by the BMF
- Summarize the calculations to find the total taxable amount during the financial year
Calculating your crypto taxes using crypto tax software
The best option for most people in Austria is likely going to be using cryptocurrency tax software to automatically do the required calculations. If you want to save both time and money, here is how you can use Coinpanda to sort out your crypto tax situation and generate all the required tax reports automatically:
1. Sign up for a 100% free account
It is 100% free to create a Coinpanda account and you don’t need to enter any credit card information to get started. The free plan lets you explore and use all features for free.
Sign up with Coinpanda for free now!
2. Connect all your exchange accounts and wallets
Coinpanda supports more than 500+ exchanges, wallets, and blockchains today. You can easily import all your transactions by connecting your exchange accounts with API keys or by uploading a CSV file with the transaction history. If you find that Coinpanda does not support an exchange you have used, reach out to us so we can add the integration – usually within a few days.
3. Wait for Coinpanda to crunch all the numbers
Get yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and wait for Coinpanda’s sophisticated calculation engine to crunch all the numbers for you. Coinpanda will automatically calculate the cost basis, proceeds, capital gains, and taxable income for all your transactions! This might take anywhere from 20 seconds to 5 minutes depending on how many transactions you have.
4. Check for any reported warnings
Coinpanda will automatically display a warning if it appears that one or more transactions are missing such that the cost basis calculations will not include the total purchase price. If you see any warnings, you should first double-check that you have in fact connected all your wallets and exchange accounts.
Do you still see any warnings? Fear not! We have written an extensive list of help articles that will guide you through the entire process of making sure your crypto tax reports are as accurate as possible. If you still need any help, the best way to get in touch with our customer support and tax experts is through the Live Chat.
5. Download your tax reports and tax forms
When you have successfully imported all transactions, the final step is to download the tax reports you need to file your taxes in Austria. Coinpanda’s tax plans start at $49 and you have lifetime access to all reports after upgrading.
Austria tax deadline
The tax year in Austria runs from January 1 to December 31 each year. Your crypto taxes should be reported in your annual tax return where you also report ordinary income from employment.
For the 2022 tax year, the filing deadline is April 30, 2023, if you are filing using paper forms. If you are filing online instead, the deadline is two months later on June 30, 2023.
Which records may the BMF ask for?
There are two reasons for having good records of all your crypto transaction. Firstly, you need the complete history of all transactions to calculate your profits, losses, and income correctly. Secondly, you are required to provide proper documentation of all transactions if you ever get audited by the BMF in the future.
As a general rule, these are the details you need to keep records of for all transactions:
- The date of the transaction
- Which cryptocurrency was part of the transaction
- Type of transaction
- How much was bought, sold, or exchanged
- The value of the cryptocurrency in euro at the time of the transaction
- Exchange records and other relevant statements
- Wallet addresses you possess the private keys of
You should periodically take backup of these records from all exchanges you have traded on since many exchanges keep these records for a limited time only – or the exchange itself may cease to exist in the future. You can also use a cryptocurrency tax app like Coinpanda to generate a report with all this information automatically.
How to report crypto taxes in Austria
Most people in Austria prefer to file their taxes online using the FinanzOnline portal. The deadline for filing your taxes for the 2022 tax year is June 30, 2023.