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Tax returns: platforms must do more to help their customers

Tax returns: platforms must do more to help their customers

Stéphanie Némarq-Attias, a partner at d&a Partners, believes that the government's intention to force trading platforms to provide more information to their customers is a step in the right direction. This should help them to manage their tax returns more effectively.

Faced with the exponential growth of the cryptoasset market in France, the Financial Sector Consultative Committee (CCSF) has been tasked by Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire with exploring the marketing practices for these assets.

One of the shortcomings highlighted in the CCSF report published on 10 October 2023 concerns the lack of information for cryptoasset holders regarding their tax obligations.

Today, specialised exchange platforms do not inform their users about the declarations to be made each year to the tax authorities, namely the declaration of accounts in digital assets held abroad (form n°3916-3916 bis) and the annual tax return (form n° 2086).

In addition, these platforms do not provide statements showing the amount of contributions and unrealised capital gains and losses in order to reconstitute the value of the portfolio.

Or, this is essential information for "non-professional" individuals to carry out the complex calculation of their capital gains taxable at 30% under Article 150 VH bis of the General Tax Code.

Cryptoasset holders therefore find themselves unable to calculate their taxable gains, unless they use certain private companies or estimate the value of their portfolio themselves before each of their transactions.

Mitigating these shortcomings

At national level, the Committee rejects the idea - which would be difficult to implement - of obliging trading platforms to send their users an annual statement of amounts to be declared similar to the IFU (single tax form) issued by banking institutions.

However, it recommends that the platform should send its customers precise information on the status of their portfolio after each transaction and at the end of the year. This information should remain available in the customer area of the site, along with an information document linking to the websites of the administrations concerned. In this regard, the impots.gouv.fr site would provide educational information dedicated to crypto-assets as well as a calculation simulator.

With European impetus, CASPs (Crypto Asset Service Providers) - the equivalent of PSANs in France, will be put to even greater use.

From 1 January 2026, they will be required to pass on to the tax authorities the identity of their users (name, contact details, tax identification number, etc.) and details of their transactions for the year.

In fact, the Administrative Cooperation Directive ("ACD 8") plans to offer Member States' tax authorities the ability to monitor all cryptocurrency transactions carried out by businesses and individuals.

Proportionate means?

These automatic data transmissions, combined with the cooperation of Member States' tax authorities, should strengthen the fight against fraud and tax evasion.

However, it must be stressed that these new obligations place a heavy administrative burden, additional costs and liability on platforms, the contours of which we cannot measure until the associated penalties are known.

Moreover, it is essential to question the limiting impact of these nominative declarations in an industry that values pseudonymity and decentralisation as its major assets.

In conclusion, we can only approve of the public authorities' desire to provide cryptoasset users with better information about their reporting obligations, while protecting the Treasury's revenue.

The only thing left to do is to find the right balance between cooperation and coercion vis-à-vis the players in this innovative ecosystem so as not to hold back this promising momentum.

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