New Update on the Taxation of Crypto Projects from the SFTA – Taxation of DAOs Remains Hidden Topic

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On 19 October 2023 the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (“SFTA“) provided new guidance on the taxation of blockchain related projects in the updated version of the “Dossier Tax Information: Cryptocurrency”. Further details on the tax treatment of non fungible Tokens, airdrops, staking and the token issuance to employees are presented. Unfortunately, the SFTA remains mostly silent on the taxation of DAOs. 

“Present opportunities are not to be neglected they rarely visit us twice.” Voltaire’s words may sound like a credo of the fast evolving and dynamic DLT sector. However, at hand they summarize the aim of the following sentences to take a step back and reflect upon the taxation of core aspects of projects involving cryptocurrencies and tokens.       

Last week, the SFTA presented in further detail its approach to the taxation of airdrops, non fungible tokens (NFTs), staking, and employee token plans in its freshly updated 39 pages “Dossier Tax Information: Cryptocurrency” (“Dossier”). Based on this and the well-known working paper of the SFTA on the taxation of cryptocurrencies and token projects (“Working Paper”), we take the opportunity to analyze the approach of the SFTA and to evaluate the impact on taxpayers, companies, investors and other involved parties. Also, as in the two papers of the SFTA, the focus shall be on direct taxes, stamp duty and withholding tax (“WHT”), excluding the Value Added Tax sphere. 

As further chord and glance into the future also some words shall be spent on the taxation of Decentral Autonomous Organizations (“DAOs”), an organizational form that has been spreading at enormous speed but still has not attracted any major attention in the publications of the SFTA. 

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