Crypto Taxes in Canada: A Beginner’s Guide

10 April 2024

While navigating the wild seas of cryptocurrency investments, it’s crucial not to forget the taxman waiting at the shore. Fear not! In this guide, we’ll embark on a journey to decode the secrets of generating reports for crypto tax in Canada.

How will the CRA know that I hold crypto and may, therefore be liable to pay tax?

It’s vital to note that the CRA has announced they are working with certain crypto exchanges to share customer information. This information is used to identify Canadian crypto investors and ensure accurate reporting of their investments with fair payments. 

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is affiliated with FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada), overseeing financial institutions and probing into money laundering and tax evasion matters. Be aware that reported trades aren’t limited to those exceeding $10,000. Any Canadian crypto exchange registered with FINTRAC must collect your government-issued ID and proof of address. Consequently, your ID becomes associated with your account and wallet addresses on the exchange.

How is crypto taxed in Canada?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) views cryptocurrency as a commodity, not a currency. Therefore, buying, selling, or trading cryptocurrencies are considered taxable events. This means it’s either subject to Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax.

Crypto tax as capital gains

As we already know, the Cost basis is King. Calculating the cost of your crypto, including any transaction fees, is the first step to determining the gains or losses you have incurred.

However, only half of the proceeds gained in Canada will be taxed. Similarly, if a loss was made, only half of the loss will be carried over, and can be offset against future gains.

Events that constitute a capital gains taxable event include:

  • Buying crypto with crypto or stablecoins
  • Selling crypto for CAD 
  • Forks
  • Gifting/donating crypto
  • Mining (as a hobby)
  • Selling/trading and gifting NFTs

Crypto tax as income

If you receive cryptocurrency as payment for goods or services, it’s treated as taxable income and should be reported on your income tax return. This will be taxed on the total profit share at your usual federal and provincial tax rate.

Events that can be identified as income tax include:

  • Mining (as a business)
  • Staking rewards
  • Trading as a day trader
  • Defi business income
  • Creating and selling NFTs

Crypto tax breaks and transactions that are not subject to tax in Canada

It’s not all bad news, though; there are a few transactions where you won’t pay any tax:

  • Buying crypto with fiat currency.
  • HODLing crypto.
  • Moving crypto between your wallets.
  • Being gifted crypto

How do I go about calculating my crypto tax?

In a perfect world, the steps followed to calculate your tax are clear and straightforward, as you can see below:

You can calculate your crypto taxes by following the below steps:

  1. Identify all your taxable crypto transactions for the financial year (1st Jan to 31st Dec)
  2. Identify which transactions are subject to Income Tax and which are subject to Capital Gains Tax.
  3. Identify the cost basis for each transaction using the adjusted cost basis method.
  4. Calculate your subsequent capital gains and losses, income, and expenses.
  5. Halve your net capital gain. Halve your net capital loss and subtract your new net capital loss from your net capital gain.

If you have a higher net capital loss than your net capital gain, remember you can carry capital losses forward to future tax years to offset against future profits.


However, the issue with the above is that the complexities that appear in practice can be overwhelming, involve manual processes, and can be incredibly time-consuming depending on the number of transactions and the chains utilized.

Navigating the world of cryptocurrency taxation in Canada may seem daunting, but understanding the basics can help you manage your tax obligations effectively. By staying informed, keeping detailed records, and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can ensure compliance with Canadian tax laws while maximizing your investment potential in the crypto space.

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