The Federal Tax Administration (FTA) has updated the price lists 2020. Thereby, 20 different crypto assets are also listed.

Since December 31, 2015, the FTA has determined a value for Bitcoin that is decisive for wealth tax by calculating the average of prices at the end of each year. This price is a recommendation to the cantonal tax authorities for the assessment of wealth tax. The list has now been continuously expanded over the years. Thus, as of December 31, 2020, the FTA has included the following digital assets in its price list (in CHF):

  • ADA Cardano 0.159035
  • BCH Bitcoin Cash 303.263463
  • BSV Bitcoin SV 144.264080
  • BTC Bitcoin 25476.030647
  • DASH Dash 77.672159
  • EOS EOS 2.288707
  • ETC Ethereum Classic 4.998835
  • ETH Ethereum 650.931897
  • IOT IOTA 0.255994
  • LINK Chainlink 9.935530
  • LTC Litecoin 110.448758
  • NEO NEO 12.600750
  • QTUM QTUM 1.962915
  • TRX TRON Coin 0.023613
  • USDT Tether 0.884341
  • XEM NEM 0.175551
  • XLM Stellar Lumens 0.113993
  • XMR Monero 138.366848
  • XRP Ripple 0.190534
  • XTZ Tezos 1.777169

Most cantons follow this recommendation of the FTA when assessing wealth taxes. Thus, at least all taxpayers are treated equally.

What remains unnoticed is that the digital assets mentioned are not really "currencies" in the traditional sense, there is limited liquidity, various stock exchanges know a transaction maximum and sales can only be settled in very small tranches because the market usually does not allow more. Capital gains can therefore only be realized over a longer period of time (at constantly changing prices). However, the high volatility to which Bitcoin & Co. are exposed within the same day must also be taken into account, which makes it even more difficult to determine an official daily closing price. Finally, there is a high technology risk. If, for example, the personal wallet is hacked or the password is forgotten, the holder suffers a total loss.

In our opinion, the principle of prudence must therefore be applied in the valuation. This can also be derived from the tax treatment of WIR money, where a markup of about 25% is granted. However, the possibilities of actually being able to use the digital assets as a means of payment are considerably more limited compared with WIR money, which is why they are also less usable. Furthermore, for Bitcoin & Co. respectively their valuation, the volatility risk and the technology risk have to be considered additionally. In ist decisions, the Federal Supreme Court stated that it is permissible to assess the tax value on the basis of a cautious estimate, which takes into account the necessary schematization and the inevitable uncertainty of the valuation. Furthermore, a tax value that is below the effectively realizable market value is constitutionally tenable to a certain extent. In our opinion, the impact can thus be significantly higher than the 25% mentioned - the value developments in 2020 speak a clear language in this respect. We therefore recommend that taxpayers proceed with caution and prudence when declaring digital assets and do not adopt the FTA's rates unseen.