Coinsquare and the CRA
On March 19, 2021, the Honourable Justice Pamel ordered CoinSquare, a major Canadian cryptocurrency exchange to provide a list of all Customer accounts, both active and inactive, either alone or jointly held with any other person(s) or business(es).
Customers are defined as the following:
- Accounts with a value of $20,000 CAD or more from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2020;
- Customers who have cumulative deposits of $20,000 CAD or more since the account opening; and
- The 16,500 largest Customer accounts by trading volume in CAD dollars between 2014 and 2020, and if not already included, the 16,500 largest Customer accounts by number of trades between 2014 and 2020.
Additionally, the order also required CoinSquare to disclose the following:
- A detailed listing of all cryptocurrency and fiat currency transfers identifying the source and destination of all Customer’s deposits and withdrawals.
- A detailed listing of all trading activity of its Customers, including over the counter (OTC) or off-exchange trades and information indicating over-the-counter (OTC) or off-exchange trades and information indicating the trading pair, buy/sell order, date, time, amount, price per unit, fees, transaction identifier, which can include a list of all known cryptocurrency addresses that were, or may have been, used during the Period of its Customers, either alone or jointly with any other person(s) or business(es).
What Does this New Order Mean & How am I Affected?
In short, this new order means that Canadian policy makers are clamping down on taxpayers who are failing to properly report their assets, capital gains or income via crypto currencies. In effect, this will impact both taxpayers who both fail to report their crypto currencies intentionally or by accident. Many crypto trading platforms actively encourage their users to monitor and report their gains from crypto currencies. The CRA has broad powers to investigate and request information from both trading platforms such as CoinSquare as well as individual taxpayers.
If a taxpayer did not disclose their assets or gains from crypto currencies properly, they may still have a chance to come clean via the Voluntary Disclosure Program (“VDP”). You can read about our earliest post on the VDP here and here. Under the Canada Revenue Agency’s Voluntary Disclosure program, taxpayers can come forward to disclose past non-compliance, whether that be non-filing, over-claimed expenses, offshore reporting, or any of an almost limitless number of errors and omissions on Canadian taxes.
60 Day Order
CoinSquare has 60 days from receiving the March 19, 2021 order to comply and disclose the above-mentioned information. This will surely impact many taxpayers as the order means that CoinSquare will disclose information on approximately 5% to 10% of CoinSquare’s 400,000 customers to the CRA. More importantly, this may be a sign for further things to come as the CRA and Canadian policy makers actively seek to clamp down on non-compliance.
If you are having trouble navigating through the complex laws surrounding crypto currencies or need advice, contact a professional at Rosen Kirshen Tax Law today! We’re here to help!
This article provides information of a general nature only. It does not provide legal advice nor can it or should it be relied upon. All tax situations are specific to their facts and will differ from the situations in this article. If you have specific legal questions you should consult a lawyer.