The eco-social tax reform as “the largest tax relief in the 2nd Republic” in Austria wants to set the course for the future in terms of sustainability, economic stimulus, employment and innovation. Among other things, it is also intended to regulate the basic taxation of income in connection with crypto assets sustainably, as can be seen from the presentation to the Council of Ministers on October 6, 2021. Accordingly, cryptocurrencies would have a de facto proximity to capital assets. Legal clarity is to be created through an explicit legal regulation on the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies as income from capital assets and embedding it in the existing taxation system. A qualification of crypto income in private assets as so-called speculative gains and the tax-free realization after a one-year holding period pursuant to Section 31 income tax act- as is currently often the case, in particular, with private investors – would then no longer be possible if qualified as capital assets. However, further details regarding the concrete design or possible transitional provisions remain to be seen.
Conclusion. The German government has the timely regulation of the taxation of crypto-assets on its radar – this is clearly shown by the motion of the Council of Ministers. Depending on how the specific content is finally structured, there may be a need for action in the case of increases in value that have not yet been realized or, for example, the transfer of crypto-assets to a limited liability company may be worth considering.
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