Tax Enforcement: UK Authorities Pursue Crypto Users for Unpaid Taxes

Crypto users in the United Kingdom (UK) are at a turning point between innovation and regulatory scrutiny. As the digital asset space expands, so does the attention of tax authorities seeking to ensure economic compliance. The latest development is the imposition of new tax penalties by the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which has many cryptocurrency users on the edge, challenging their financial standing and potential liabilities.

HMRC sets lines on unpaid crypto taxes

In a significant move by the UK’s tax authorities, His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued a firm order to crypto users. This announcement, which has significant implications for UK crypto enthusiasts, focuses on declaring and paying taxes on digital assets within a specific time frame.

According to HMRC, the amount of time customers have to pay back taxes is determined by the reason they did not pay earlier. It requires taxpayers to select one of three options and admit whether they were negligent, purposefully avoided paying, or intended to pay but could not do so. 

Users who wanted to pay but did not do so will owe the amount for the previous four years to the UK’s HMRC. The less diligent taxpayer must pay for the previous six years, whereas the intentional tax evader must pay for all crypto held for up to the previous 20 years.

Crypto taxation state in the UK

Digital assets are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) because they are classified similarly to other financial instruments. CGT rates range from 10% to 20%, depending on an individual’s income and profit margin. The HMRC has made it clear that failure to declare and pay taxes on cryptocurrency assets will result in more interest and penalties. The interest, which accrues daily from the due date until full payment, adds a sense of urgency to the situation. 

It’s important to keep in mind that any tax on previous-year crypto holdings that are now considered late will automatically face this interest. Disclosures that fail to sufficiently convey this interest will be deemed insufficient.

Users who previously disclosed cryptocurrency taxes to the UK Treasury have 30 days from the date of disclosure to make all required payments. According to the article, if the deadline is missed, the Treasury will make efforts to reclaim the funds, and users may face penalties.

The upcoming crypto hub has clarified its stance on cryptocurrency taxation. In 2021, the Treasury issued a guidebook to assist UK crypto holders in paying taxes, and the UK declared in March this year that individuals would be required to report their crypto separately in tax forms. The HMRC’s latest declaration serves as an important reminder for UK crypto holders to remain on guard and meet with tax legislation to avoid harsh penalties.

UK government advocates for more regulations

Through regulatory measures, enforcement actions, and investigations, the UK government has been actively addressing policies related to artificial intelligence, financial technology, and the metaverse. 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) implemented new digital asset rules in October, requiring crypto firms to establish a presence with the financial regulator and have their marketing materials authorized by an FCA-authorized firm. Important updates include exchanges clearly warning customers about the risks associated with crypto investments.  Marketing materials must be honest, transparent, and not deceptive. A 24-hour cooling-off period is also required for new customers.

Previously, Bim Afolami was appointed as the United Kingdom’s economic secretary to the Treasury, where he has authority over policies affecting the adoption of digital assets and central bank digital currencies in the country. And more recently, the new City of London minister urged regulators to be more accommodating of risk-taking in order to revitalize the UK’s stagnant economy. He stressed the importance of regulators striking a balance between effective oversight and allowing for room for innovation and growth.

“It’s pointless to have the safest graveyard. “Animal spirits must be present, we must innovate, and we must drive growth and initiative,” he said.


The recent actions of the UK government demonstrate a growing emphasis on cryptocurrency taxation and regulation. The new HMRC guidelines and penalties emphasize the importance of compliance as well as the potential consequences of noncompliance. While the UK government wishes to encourage innovation in the digital asset space, it also recognizes the importance of responsible regulation in order to protect investors and ensure market stability. The FCA’s new rules, as well as the appointment of Bim Afolami as Treasury’s economic secretary, demonstrate the government’s commitment to fostering a vibrant and compliant crypto ecosystem.

As the cryptocurrency market evolves, it’s critical for UK users to stay up to date on the latest regulations and meet their tax obligations. They can ensure their financial security and avoid any unnecessary expenses by doing so.

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