The UK government is seeking feedback from the public on a proposed change to the tax treatment of decentralized finance’s (DeFi) lending and staking. The current regulations consider DeFi transactions as disposals, leading to potential tax liabilities for crypto lenders and yield generators. However, the proposed changes would only impose a tax when cryptocurrencies are economically sold off through a transaction that is unrelated to DeFi.
Consultation Process and Stakeholder Response
The consultation process is open for eight weeks, and the government is asking for feedback on the proposed framework. The changes are aimed at DeFi lending and staking but will also apply to centralized finance (CeFi) services offered through intermediaries. The proposed changes have been welcomed by the crypto industry, which has been calling for greater clarity around the tax treatment of DeFi lending and staking.
The consultation process provides an opportunity for stakeholders to share their views on the proposed changes and will inform the government’s decision on whether to implement the new framework. Moreover, if the changes are implemented, they could provide greater certainty for crypto investors and attract more investment into the sector.
Reasons for Increased Scrutiny of the Crypto Industry
The UK government’s increased scrutiny of the crypto industry has been prompted by recent market failures, including the closure of the FTX exchange and the bankruptcies of crypto lending giants such as BlockFi and Celsius. The government aims to ensure that tax liabilities are only incurred when cryptocurrencies are actually sold and not when they are used in DeFi transactions.
Implications of the Proposed Changes
The proposed changes could have significant implications for the crypto industry, as they would reduce the potential tax liabilities for DeFi lenders and yield generators. However, some experts have raised concerns that the changes could lead to increased tax evasion, as some investors may seek to avoid taxation by claiming that their DeFi transactions are not disposals.