Beginner
Lesson 14
3 min

Do I have to pay taxes when I buy or sell Bitcoin?

The short answer to whether you have to pay taxes when buying or selling Bitcoin is: yes.

  • In almost all countries, you have to pay taxes on the trade of most commodities
  • The regulatory framework for taxation of cryptocurrencies differs from country to country

In this lesson, you will learn the basics of taxation for cryptocurrencies.


In most countries, you pay tax on the trade of most commodities but the situation is different in every country. As it gets quite complicated and every country has its own legislation, we strongly advise you to contact your personal tax advisor for further information about your individual situation

We strongly advise you to contact your personal tax advisor for further information about your individual situation.

Buying a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin on a platform like Bitpanda with fiat currency is a very easy process. But things get more complicated once you transfer your cryptocurrency to an exchange in order to exchange it into another cryptocurrency. 

In most countries, this act is considered a “taxable event” by law like any transaction involving a commodity, meaning that you will have to pay taxes because the event produces capital gains (or losses). 

Spending cryptocurrencies is also a potentially taxable event, which again depends on the country you live in and respective regulations. 

In Austria, cryptocurrencies are considered private assets. Thus profits from the sale of cryptocurrencies are tax-relevant. Such profits become taxable if you buy and sell cryptocurrencies within a one-year period. It may therefore be a good strategy to buy and hold cryptocurrencies for at least one year. 

The following events are considered a “sale of cryptocurrency” under Austrian law: if you exchange a cryptocurrency into a fiat currency such as EUR, USD and others, if you pay in a cryptocurrency when buying a product or service, and if you exchange one cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency or for another crypto-asset.

In Austria, profits from the sale of cryptocurrencies, which are considered private assets, are tax-relevant.

Keeping track of your portfolio

You should keep track of the cryptocurrencies you have bought. A simple option is to create a spreadsheet and add all the details you need for taxes right when you buy, trade or sell. 

You can either keep track of your transactions manually or download your trade history as a .csv file on your personal Bitpanda profile to import all relevant information into your spreadsheet. 

Another option is to use a web service such as Blockpit or the Coinmarketcap App to keep track of your cryptocurrency holdings. 

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Beginners' Quiz

FURTHER READING

BOOKS

  • Aleksandra Bal - Taxation, Virtual Currency and Blockchain
  • Anne Boden - The Money Revolution: Easy Ways to Manage Your Finances in a Digital World
  • Werner Haslehner - Tax and the Digital Economy: Challenges and Proposals for Reform

LINKS

7 FAQs on cryptocurrencies

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Regulation 2019 in Austria

Portugal Tax Authority Removes Taxation on Crypto Trading and Payments