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Which Taxes Apply?

Anyone who trades (buys/sells) or mines cryptoassets, or uses cryptoasset derivatives, needs to first consider if they are engaged in financial trading in cryptoassets (ie a business activity), rather than simply assuming they are classed as an investor and taxed under the capital gains tax regime/miscellaneous income regime.
HMRC state: "Only in exceptional circumstances would they expect individuals to buy and sell exchange tokens with such frequency, level of organisation and sophistication that the activities amount to a trade in itself."
Whether or not there is financial trading in cryptoassets is a complex area. We recommend you read our detailed guidance and consult a professional tax advisor to consider your specific circumstances.
Assuming the cryptoasset activity is not treated as a financial trade, here is an overview of the most common tax treatment for different types of crypto activity. Click the activity type for more detailed information.
Disposal/Activity Type
Capital Gains Tax
Income Tax
✅​​
❌
✅​​
❌
​
🛍
Purchases using Crypto​
✅​​
❌
​
🎁
Gifts​​
✅​​
❌
​
💍
Spouse Transfers​
❌ (if conditions met)
❌
❌ (if conditions met)
❌
​🎈 Airdrops​​
❌*​
✅ (Sometimes)
🤝 Staking​​​
✅​​ (if beneficial ownership is transferred)
✅
​
💸
Transfers​​
❌​​
❌
​
🍴
Forks​​​
❌^
❌
​
⛏
Mining​​​
❌*
✅
​
👛
​​​​​​ Employment income​
​​❌*​
✅
​
🚨
Lost & Stolen Crypto​
Potential to claim capital losses​
❌
​
🎲
Gambling​
​​✅​​
❌
​
💧
​​​​​​​​Liquidity Pool Rewards​​
​❌*
✅
​
💧
​Liquidity Pool Entry/Exit​
​​✅​​ (if beneficial ownership is transferred)
❌
​
⬆
Token Upgrades/Swaps​​​
❌^
❌
✅​​​​​​ (Individual discretion)
✅ (Individual discretion​)
✅​​ (if beneficial ownership is transferred)
​​❌
​
💼
Providing Collateral​
✅​​ (if beneficial ownership is transferred)
❌
​
🔄
REPOS​
​​ (if beneficial ownership is transferred)
❌
❌*
✅
​
🪞
Reflections Rewards​​
❌*​
❌
​
👥
Referral Income​​​
❌*
✅
​
💳
Cashback​
❌*
❌
​​​​​​
🎨
NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens)​
✅
❌
​
🎮
NFTs earned playing games​​
❌*​​
✅
* No Capital Gains Tax at the time of acquisition, but it is subject to capital gains tax when the cryptoasset is later disposed.
^ may affect Capital Gains Tax base cost, though.