SARS is cracking down on cryptocurrency owners. Here's what you need to know

  • Some taxpayers are receiving audit letters that demand information about their cryptocurrency holdings.
  • SARS wants to crack down on undisclosed holdings this year.
  • Popular crypto trading platform Luno says it doesn't share info with SARS on a "routine basis".
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Some South Africans who have bought cryptocurrencies in recent years are being audited by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), who has sent them letters requiring more information about these investments.

Last month, SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter confirmed that undisclosed cryptocurrency holdings will be a big area of focus for the tax agency this year.

Some taxpayers have received audit letters that request that they provide reasons for their cryptocurrency investments, and provide letters from trading platforms confirming the investments, says Thomas Lobban, legal manager for cross-border taxation at Tax Consulting SA.

The cryptocurrency platform Luno, which has seven million trading “wallets” (or accounts) across its operations, confirms that it has seen an increase in requests from South Africans to download their transaction histories, presumably for tax purposes.

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