HMRC names crypto-currencies among alternative assets that MUST be declared in wealth statements

All assets, including Bitcoin, have always had to be declared to HMRC if required But, HMRC has now updated Statement of Assets form with things like crypto HMRC suspects more 'hidden wealth is slipping through its fingers', expert says

HMRC names crypto-currencies among alternative assets that MUST be declared in wealth statements

Ever since the surge in cryptocurrency wealth, it has been necessary to declare profits from such assets to HMRC for tax purposes.

And anyone who finds themselves under investigation for suspected tax irregularities by HM Revenue & Customs has always had to declare all their assets.

But HMRC is now going a step further, and explicitly including a section on cryptocurrency declarations in its updated 'Statement of Assets' form.

An HMRC spokesperson said: 'The majority of individuals and businesses pay the tax that is due – however there remains a determined minority who refuse to play by the rules.

'We take robust action to make sure that everyone pays the tax due – from individuals operating in the hidden economy through to action against sophisticated organised crime groups, and complex investigations into offshore structures used to hide earnings and other assets.'

Helen Thornley, a technical officer at the Association of Taxation Technicians, told This is Money she thinks the move to explicitly include crypto assets in the form 'makes sense'. She said it was important people were given a 'prompt' to remember to declare all assets like Bitcoin.

HMRC stressed that the Statement of Assets form has always required people to detail a complete account of all assets, wherever they are in the world and however they are held. Now, however, crypto-assets will be clearly and explicitly listed among others to ensure there can be no ambiguity.

Other assets that have been added to the updated declaration form include, electronic money accounts, online payment platform accounts, electronic wallets, financial technology accounts, community and informal banking accounts, accounts connected to value transfer systems, money service business accounts, foreign exchange accounts and electronic accounts. 

Anyone who is required to submit details of their assets to HMRC can expect everything they put down to be checked. Forensic work means any assets not declared can also be tracked down. 'People have to be really careful about filling in forms like this properly as they can be prosecuted if they do not', tax expert Ms Thornley told This is Money.