Three leading cryptocurrency exchanges from South Africa recently confirmed receiving a request for client data from the country’s revenue collector. In a joint statement, the exchanges, (namely Altcointrader, Luno, and Valr) said this request, which targets a “selection of customers”, has been made “in terms of section 46 of the (South African) Tax Administration Act.”
Data Needed for Future Action
Explaining the tax collector’s move to access crypto traders’ personal information, the statement says the South African Revenue Service (SARS) wants this information “as part of a tax risk assessment exercise on residents involved in “the mining, speculation and/or investment in crypto-assets.” For its part, the revenue collector says the collected data “will inform the need for future action with respect to crypto-assets.”
However, according to a report, one of the approached exchanges, Valr, has since expressed its concerns with the tax collector. Its co-founder and CEO, Farzam Ehsani, explained:
We are also committed to being compliant with the laws and regulations that govern our business. We have engaged with Sars to express our concern for the privacy of the data of our customers and we have also sought legal advice on our obligation to comply with SARS’ request.
Exchanges Say They Will Comply
Similarly, Marius Reitz, the general manager for Africa at Luno said his company will be complying with the request for client information as this is a legal requirement. For its part, Altcointrader, which has “taken legal counsel to ensure that all information requested by regulators is within our legal obligation,” says will cooperate with SARS.
Meanwhile, this latest report of SARS seeking the exchanges’ assistance comes a few weeks after tax experts warned the revenue collector was zeroing on crypto traders. Similarly, tax expert David Lesperance, in his remarks during a call with Bitcoin.com News, urged South African crypto holders to approach the SARS before it descended on them.
However, for their part, the three South African cryptocurrency exchanges said “they (will) all provide the ability for customers to download their transaction history to prepare any tax declarations that are required.”
Do you agree with the stance that has been taken by crypto exchanges? Tell us what you think in the comments section.