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.
Our guide Crypto Taxes Belgium provides an advanced overview of the tax laws surrounding crypto investments in Belgium. We cover topics such as how various crypto assets are taxed, what types of crypto-related income are taxable, and how to report crypto-related gains and losses on your tax return.
👆 Crypto tax Belgium: Facts at a glance
- Belgium has a 33% flat tax on capital gains from most crypto transactions
- Some transactions may incur an income tax, ranging from 25% to 50%
- There is still a lot of uncertainty regarding crypto concepts like mining, staking and DeFi in general
Do you have to pay a crypto tax in Belgium?
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.
How is crypto taxed in Belgium?
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
- taxed as miscellaneous income for risky or speculative behavior with a capital gains tax of 33% + communal tax
- taxed as regular income from professional activities with a progressive income tax between 25-50% + communal tax + social security
- tax-free under the “Bon père de familie” condition, requiring prudent investment behavior on the management of private assets
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.
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:
- investing more than 25% of movable assets
- active trading
- corporate investments
We have provided more details about the different types of investors and the official self-assessment questionnaire in the next sections.
Capital gains tax
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:
- You bought one Bitcoin for 10.000€.
- The value of the Bitcoin appreciates and you sell it at a later date for 15.000€.
- Your broker or crypto exchange charges you a 5€ fee for the transaction.
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€.
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.
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:
- 0€ to 13.540€ = 25%
- 13.541€ to 23.900€ = 40%
- 23.901€ to 41.360€ = 45%
- 41.361 and up = 50%
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.
- The first 13.540€ are taxed at 25%.
- The next 10.359€ (23.900€ – 13.541€) are taxed at 40%.
- The remaining 1.099€ are taxed 45%.
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€
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.
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
Crypto tax rates Belgium
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.
Professional Investors & Crypto Miners
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%.
The three types of investors – how much crypto tax you need to pay in Belgium
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!
Bon père de famille – The prudent investor
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.
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.
Spéculateur – The speculative investor
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.
Professionnel – The professional investor
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.
Which investor are you?
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:
LISTE DE QUESTIONS CRYPTO-MONNAIES
And we have included an english translation here for your convenience:
- How did you come into possession of cryptocurrencies (e.g. by inheritance by inheritance, donation, personal savings, replacement of movable or immovable assets …)?
- How many years have you been investing in cryptocurrencies?
- For what amount (total) have you already invested in cryptocurrencies?
- How often do you buy and sell? In other words, how many times a year do you make these types of transactions (once, daily, weekly, monthly, a few times a year) ? Please provide the details of all the operations carried out so far (purchases, sales, conversions of a cryptocurrency into another cryptocurrency, …) indicating the dates and amounts of the transactions.
- How long have the cryptocurrencies you wish to transfer/cease have been in your possession?
- What is your investment strategy in cryptocurrencies?
- “buy & hold”: hold the virtual currencies for a long time
- “trending”: trade/sell based on technical analysis of market prices or trends
- “active trading / daytrading / scalping”: the realization of small gains on very short open positions
- “arbitrage”: buying and selling on different exchanges in order to profit from price differences on these exchanges.
- Do you mine via your own mining rig or a mining pool? If yes, please provide further explanation.
- Do you buy or sell cryptocurrencies through an automated process or automated software? Did you design this process/software yourself? Please provide details.
- What is your current professional activity? What education have you completed? Have you gained any knowledge of cryptocurrencies in the course of your professional activity?
- Have you invested in a cryptocurrency investment fund? Please provide any relevant details.
- Are you active in the cryptocurrency community on forums or via blogs? Do you give lectures on the subject? Please provide any relevant details.
- What percentage of your assets (movable) have you invested in cryptocurrencies? Do you also invest in other movable assets (e.g. stocks, bonds, paintings, gold, …)? If so, please specify in which other movable assets you have invested in as well as the proportion of your investment in cryptocurrencies compared to other investments.
- Do you use any special equipment to protect your cryptocurrencies (for example hardware wallet)? If yes,please provide details.
- Do you also invest in cryptocurrencies for others? If yes, please specify for whom and for what amount.
- Have you used borrowing to finance your cryptocurrency purchases? If yes, for what amount and from whom did you borrow?
- What is the (market) value of your cryptocurrency portfolio at the present time (including date)?
- Do you use the advice of professionals in the financial and/or IT sector in your investments in cryptocurrencies?
Do you pay taxes when buying cryptocurrencies with fiat?
No, there is no crypto tax in Belgium for buying crypto with fiat money like Euro.
Do you pay taxes when selling cryptocurrencies for fiat?
Selling cryptocurrency for fiat is a taxable transaction resulting in a capital gains tax if the sale realizes a gain.
Do you pay taxes when exchanging one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency?
Swapping one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency is a taxable transaction resulting in a capital gains tax if the exchange realizes a gain.
How is mining cryptocurrencies taxed?
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.
How is staking taxed?
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.
Some tax lawyers have appeared to compare staking rewards to movable income such as interest, which would be taxed at 30%.
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.
Any taxes for airdrops?
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%.
How are crypto losses taxed?
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.
How are crypto trading fees taxed?
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.
Is there a value added tax VAT on crypto?
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.
What inventory methods can be used to calculate crypto gains and losses?
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:
FIFO – First In First Out
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.
LIFO – Last In First Out
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.
HIFO – Highest In First Out
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.
AVCO – Average Cost
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.
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.
Ways to optimize your cryptocurrency taxes in Belgium
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!
Being a “prudent investor”
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.
Can the SPF track your cryptocurrencies?
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.
Tips on preparing for the crypto tax period in Belgium
You are responsible for maintaining the necessary records related to your crypto investment. That includes:
- Transactions including Dates
- Type of crypto asset
- Acquisition source
- Wallet addresses
- Cost bases
- Mining logs
- Bank statements
- Annual statements
Blockpit’s crypto portfolio tracker integrates with crypto exchanges, wallets and blockchains to automate the process for you and keep precise records of everything you need. Sign up for free!
Familiarize yourself with the process
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.
Use crypto tax software to calculate your gains and losses
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!
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.
Crypto Tax Deadlines in Belgium
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.
Tax Deadlines if you submit your tax return yourself
- Paper format: 30.06.2022
- Tax-on-web: 15.07.2022
Tax deadlines if you instruct an accountant to fill in your tax return
- MyMinfin (Tax-on-web): 28.10.2022
Learn more about crypto tax deadlines.
How to report crypto taxes with the SPF?
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.
Blockpit: Use crypto tax software for easy tax reporting
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:
1. Import your transactions
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.
Discover all crypto integrations
2. Validate & Optimize
Blockpit offers smart insights and suggestions to optimize your tax report, fix issues, add missing values and to validate your transactions.
3. Generate your tax report
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.
Written by: Florian Wimmer
Reviewed by: Mag. Georg Brameshuber