Information for crypto-asset users and tax professionals

Since 2008, the crypto-asset industry has seen a dramatic expansion of asset types, technology, and scale. Due to the evolving nature of the underlying technology and the increase in use of crypto-assets, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will continue to update its tax guidance as needed.

This webpage provides general tax information for the most common tax issues related to crypto-assets. You will also find links to more technical content provided by the CRA.


The descriptions below reference terms as they are commonly understood in the crypto-asset industry and are provided for information purposes only. The CRA is not expressing any opinion or position by presenting this information.


  1. There are new amendments to the Excise Tax Act in section 188.2 which define “cryptoassets” for the specific purpose of applying goods and services / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) to cryptoasset mining activities.
  2. The tax treatment of a crypto-asset can only be determined after considering all the relevant facts (including its attributes) on a case by case basis.  

Keeping books and records

If you have acquired or disposed of crypto-assets, you have to keep adequate books and records to support each transaction. This applies to individuals and businesses.

You should keep records of the following information for your crypto-asset transactions:

You should also keep receipts associated with managing your tax affairs, such as accounting and legal costs, and third-party software costs. Different types of software are available to track cryptocurrency trades and keep records. The CRA does not endorse any particular software, so choose the software that you prefer for record keeping.

If any transactions occur on a crypto-asset exchange, you should keep exchange records including trade ledgers (buy, sell and swaps), transfer ledgers (deposit and withdrawals of crypto-assets and fiat) and records supporting any other types of transactions that took place on the exchange. Crypto-asset exchanges have different standards for the kinds of records they keep and how long they keep them. 


If you use crypto-asset exchanges or other custodial platforms, it is good practice to regularly export a history of your activity to make sure you keep adequate books and records in the case an exchange ceases operating, stops offering service in Canada, or you lose access to your account.

You are responsible for keeping all required records and supporting documents for at least six years from the end of the tax year to which they apply.

In certain situations, the CRA may require you to keep additional documentation. For example, if you perform crypto-asset mining activities, you should also keep the following records:

For more information, visit Keeping records.

Determining the value of a crypto-asset

To report correct amounts on your tax returns, you need to determine the value of a crypto-asset when a transaction occurs. You must also keep enough documentation, as part of your books and records, to support the value of your crypto-assets and any related amounts you report on your tax returns (such as income/loss or capital gain/capital loss).

Here are some examples of events or transactions where you need to determine the value of your crypto-assets for tax reporting purposes:

events or transactions to determinethe value of crypto-assets for tax reporting purpose
Acquisition Disposition
Buy Sell
Trade Trade
Barter transaction (receiving crypto in exchange for goods or services) Barter transaction (disposing of crypto in exchange for goods or services)
Gifts/Donations Gifts/Donations
Gambling Gambling
Rewards (for example, from mining or staking)  

Generally, the CRA will accept a crypto-asset’s fair market value for tax reporting purposes.

Fair market value

The fair market value of something is generally the highest price, expressed in dollars, that a willing buyer and willing seller (who are both knowledgeable, informed, prudent, and acting independently of one another) would agree to in an open and unrestricted market. 

In all cases, you must use a reasonable method for determining the value of your crypto-assets, even when a direct value is not readily available. Whichever method you choose, use it consistently and keep a record of how it was used to calculate a value. For example, you could choose an exchange rate taken from the same exchange broker you are using or an average of high/low/open/close values across a number of high-volume exchange brokers to determine the value.

If you hold more than one type of crypto-asset, each type is considered to be a separate asset and must be valued separately.

Whatever valuation method you use, you must be able to show that it is reasonable for tax reporting purposes.

Income tax considerations

The following sections outline the income tax implications of common transactions involving crypto-assets.

Basic concepts

In some instances, a transaction involving a crypto-asset may result in business income (or loss) or a capital gain (or loss). It is important for you to establish if the crypto-asset transactions in which you were involved have resulted in income or capital gains, as this determination will lead to different income tax outcomes. More guidance on this question is given below.


Generally, a disposition of a crypto-asset may occur when you do any of the following:

Other situations not listed above may also result in a disposition and may potentially have income tax consequences.

Using cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services is a common example of the disposition of a crypto-asset. Since cryptocurrency is not government-issued currency, using cryptocurrency as payment for goods or services is treated as a barter transaction for income tax purposes. A barter transaction occurs when two parties exchange goods or services and carry out that exchange without using government-issued currency. Generally, you are considered to have disposed of cryptocurrency if you use it to pay for goods or services from a vendor. On the other hand, the vendor must include in their income the value of the goods or services provided or the value of the cryptocurrency accepted as payment, whichever is more readily valued. For more information, see our archived content on barter transactions.


The income you get from disposing of cryptocurrency may be considered business income or a capital gain. To report that income correctly, you must establish what kind of income it is.

Business income or capital gain

When you dispose of a crypto-asset, the resulting gain (or loss) may be considered business income (or loss) or a capital gain (or loss).

Paragraphs 9 to 13 of Interpretation Bulletin IT-479R, Transactions In Securities, provide general information to help you determine if your securities transactions are made on account of business income or capital. The information in these paragraphs may be relevant in determining whether your crypto-asset transactions are on account of income or capital depending on the nature of those assets. However, you should keep in mind that this does not mean that crypto-assets are necessarily securities (for example, shares and bonds) for income tax purposes.

As stated in Interpretation Bulletin IT-479R, you are generally considered to be carrying on a business if your course of conduct indicates that you are disposing of crypto-assets in a way capable of producing gains, with that object in view, and the transactions are carried out in a manner similar to a trader or dealer in securities. The following factors may indicate that you are carrying on a business:

For more details, see Interpretation Bulletin IT-479R. Although none of the individual factors above may be enough to characterize your activities as a business, the combination of a number of those factors may well be enough. Whether you are carrying on a business or not must be determined case by case.

You are generally considered to be carrying on a business if you conduct business activities with regularity or continuity. However, even an isolated crypto-asset transaction could be on account of business income when it is considered “an adventure or concern in the nature of trade.” For more information, see our archived content on an adventure or concern in the nature of trade.

If a crypto-asset transaction was not made on account of business income, it would generally be considered capital in nature.

Reporting your business income (or loss)

If you have disposed a crypto-asset on account of business income, you must report the full amount of your profits (or loss) from the disposition in your tax return.

For more information on business income, including from the disposition of a crypto-asset, see Guide T4002, Self-employed Business, Professional, Commission, Farming, and Fishing Income.

Reporting your capital gain (or loss)

If the disposition of a crypto-asset was on account of capital, and the proceeds of disposition (usually the sale price of the crypto-asset) are more than your adjusted cost base (usually the cost of a crypto-asset, plus expenses to acquire it) and the outlays and expenses incurred to make the disposition, then you have realized a capital gain. If the amount for the proceeds of disposition of the crypto-asset is less than the adjusted cost base and the outlays and expenses, then you have realized a capital loss.

You must include half of your capital gains (known as taxable capital gains) in your income for the year. Similarly, you are allowed to deduct half of your capital losses (known as allowable capital losses) but only against your taxable capital gain; that is, you cannot deduct your allowable capital losses against income from other sources, such as employment income. Generally, if your allowable capital losses are more than taxable capital gains in a year, the difference is added to your net capital losses, which can be applied against taxable capital gains of other years. To offset taxable capital gains, you can carry back three years or carry forward indefinitely any net capital losses.

For more information on proceeds of disposition, adjusted cost base, and capital gains and losses, including from the disposition of a crypto-asset, see Guide T4037, Capital Gains.

Example 1 – Business income or loss

Alice regularly buys and sells various types of crypto-assets. She pays close attention to the fluctuations in the value of crypto-assets and intends to profit from the fluctuations. Her activities are consistent with someone who is engaged in the business of day trading. In 2022, Alice sold $240,000 worth of various crypto-assets, which she originally bought for $200,000. Her net profit is $40,000. Since Alice is carrying on a business of trading crypto-assets, she has to include the profit of $40,000 as business income on her 2022 income tax and benefit return.

Example 2 – Capital gain or loss

Tim bought cryptocurrency in 2015 for $3,500 in Canadian dollars with the intention of holding it to let it appreciate in value over a long period. In 2022, Tim decided to sell the same cryptocurrency for $4,000 in Canadian dollars. He had no other crypto-asset transactions between 2015 and 2022. Tim has a capital gain of $500 on the disposition of the cryptocurrency. Tim has to include a taxable capital gain of $250 on his 2022 income tax and benefit return. 

Example 3 – Trading one type of cryptocurrency for another

On July 30, 2022, Francis bought 100 units of cryptocurrency E, which had a value of $20,600. To pay for this purchase, Francis used 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B, which were trading at $8,220 per unit on that day for a total value of $20,600. Francis originally bought the units of cryptocurrency B for $15,000.

In effect, Francis has disposed of 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B in exchange for 100 units of cryptocurrency E at a value of $20,600. Assuming Francis intended to hold cryptocurrency B as long-term investments, his disposition of cryptocurrency B on July 30, 2022, would result in a capital gain. It is calculated as follows:

$20,600 [fair market value of 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B on July 30, 2022]

- $15,000 [adjusted cost base of 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B, their original purchase price]

$5,600 capital gain

$5,600 capital gain taxed at 50% = $2,800 taxable capital gain

If, on the other hand, the original purchase price of the 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B had been $25,000 (that is, more than their fair market value on July 30, 2022), he would have a capital loss. It is calculated as follows:

$20,600 [fair market value of 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B on July 30, 2022]

- $25,000 [adjusted cost base of 2.5061 units of cryptocurrency B, their original purchase price]

$4,400 capital loss

$4,400 capital loss × 50% = $2,200 allowable capital loss

Determining inventory value

If you hold crypto-assets as business inventory, you need to know the value and cost of the crypto-assets described in the inventory of your business in order to determine the amount of business income or loss that you realized. Generally, you use one of the following two methods of valuing inventory consistently from year to year:

You may have to use other methods of valuing inventory, depending on the type of business you have. For example, property described in the inventory of a business that is an adventure or concern in the nature of trade must be valued at the cost for which you acquired the property.

Cost of acquired property 

The original cost of the particular item of inventory (for example, a block of crypto-assets), plus all reasonable costs incurred to buy that block of crypto-assets.

For more information about determining the value of inventory for tax purposes, including the special rules for an adventure in the nature of trade, review our archived content on Inventory valuation.

Earning crypto-assets through proof-of-work mining

Proof-of-work mining commonly involves using specialized computers to solve complicated mathematical problems to validate crypto-asset transactions. Miners put crypto-asset transactions into blocks and try to guess a number that will create a valid block. A valid block is accepted by the corresponding crypto-asset’s network and becomes part of a publicly distributed ledger, usually a blockchain. When a miner successfully creates a valid block, they will generally receive two payments. One payment represents newly created crypto-assets on the network, and the other represents the fees from transactions included in the newly validated block. Those who perform these mining processes are paid with crypto-assets.

If you are in the business of crypto-asset mining, the value of the crypto-assets you receive for your mining activities must be included in your business income at the time it is earned. Generally, if you do your mining activity with the intention of profiting in a business-like manner, you would be carrying on a business with respect to that activity.

Crypto-asset mining equipment

If you own crypto-asset mining equipment like application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners or graphics processing unit (GPU) mining rigs that you use in your crypto-asset mining business, you may be able to claim a deduction of capital cost allowance (CCA) for the equipment. Although each piece of equipment is different, the CRA considers that ASIC miners and GPU mining rigs can meet the conditions to fall within CCA class 50. For more information on claiming CCA, visit our web page Claiming Capital Cost Allowance.


If you are a non-resident of Canada and use crypto-asset mining equipment located in Canada to mine crypto-assets, you may be carrying on a business in Canada and have to file a tax return in Canada. You may also be considered to have a permanent establishment in Canada under an applicable income tax treaty concluded by Canada. For more information on the taxation of non-residents in Canada, read Guide T4058, Non-Residents and Income Tax 2022.

Applying GST/HST to cryptocurrency

Where a taxable property or service is exchanged for cryptocurrency, the GST/HST that applies to the property or service is calculated based on the fair market value of the cryptocurrency at the time of the exchange.

If your business accepts cryptocurrency as payment for taxable property or services, the value of the cryptocurrency for GST/HST purposes is calculated based on its fair market value at the time of the transaction.

Keep all records that show how you calculated the fair market value.

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