Sars seeks customer information from local crypto exchanges

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South Africa three largest cryptocurrency exchanges – AltCoinTrader, Luno and VALR – said they were approached by the South African tax office as part of a tax risk assessment of residents involved in “mining, speculation and / or investing in crypto assets”.

In 2018, Sars published a media release entitled “Sars Attitude on the Tax Treatment of Cryptocurrencies,” reminding taxpayers to disclose all cryptocurrency-related taxable income during the year that such income was received or accrued.

In a joint statement published on Monday, the country’s three largest crypto exchanges stated that Sars had asked for information on a “selection of customers within the meaning of Section 46 of the Tax Administration Act”.

We partnered with Sars to express our concerns about the privacy of our customers’ privacy and we also sought legal advice …

“Sars has confirmed that the primary purpose of collecting this information is risk analysis, which will reveal the need for future action on crypto assets,” they add.

“VALR takes the privacy and protection of our customer data very seriously,” says Farzam Ehsani, co-founder and CEO of VALR.com. “We are also committed to complying with the laws and regulations that govern our business. We have partnered with Sars to express our concerns about the privacy of our customers ‘privacy and we have also sought legal advice on our obligation to comply with Sars’ request. “

“Required by law”

“The conclusion of our legal advice is that, according to Section 46 of the Tax Administration Act, we, together with other cryptocurrency exchanges, are obliged to provide the information requested by Sars.”

Marius Reitz, GM for Africa at Luno, adds: “Luno does not routinely or continuously provide Sars with customer information. More generally and as described in Luno’s privacy policy, we only pass on customer data to law enforcement and other supervisory authorities if we are legally obliged to do so.

“Luno carefully reviewed the Sars request, obtained legal advice on our obligation to comply, and worked with Sars to ensure that it was limited in scope as much as possible. However, we are legally obliged to comply with the request. “

Luno GM Marius Reitz

Richard de Sousa, CEO of AltCoinTrader: “AltCoinTrader has always strived to protect the privacy of our customers and to provide the necessary tools to enable compliance. In order for the industry as a whole to grow, stock exchanges and industry players are obliged to work together with the regulatory authority. AltCoinTrader has enlisted legal counsel to ensure that all information requested by regulators complies with our legal obligations. “

Cryptocurrency platforms are not yet required to issue tax certificates to customers. In their joint statement released on Monday, AltCoinTrader, Luno and VALR say they are all offering clients the option to download their transaction history in order to prepare any required tax returns.

  • This article was originally published on Moneyweb and is used here with permission