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HMRC and crypto exchange data gathering

Posted by: Gherson White-Collar Crime

In an April 2021 Blog about tax and cryptoassets gains Gherson’s white-collar crime and investigations and tax teams informed that on 30 March 2021 HMRC published its “Cryptoasset Manual” with the aim of helping “people understand the tax implications that can arise from transactions involving cryptoassets”.

One particular aspect of this Manual highlighted was that HMRC had outlined that they can make information requests from crypto exchanges under certain statutory powers. Gherson have subsequently sent a Freedom of Information Request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to HMRC regarding their data gathering in this regard.HMRC and crypt exchange data gathering

Results of Freedom of Information Request

Following this Freedom of Information Request, HMRC have confirmed that they are gathering information from crypto exchanges. HMRC have confirmed that:

  • HMRC has used powers provided by parliament to gather information from entities about their customers’ transactions in, and holdings of, cryptoassets;
  • HMRC has exercised rights under International Treaties to request information from other tax administrations to obtain information held by cryptoasset exchanges and data holders outside the UK;
  • HMRC also received data derived from cryptoasset exchanges about their users as part of spontaneous exchanges of information from other tax administrators;
  • HMRC is gathering personal data in the form of names and addresses;
  • HMRC is gathering data from exchanges about customers who are both one-time and recurring customers;
  • HMRC is gathering information about frequency of transactions/trades;
  • HMRC is gathering information about the value of cryptoassets belonging to clients;
  • HMRC has requested bulk data from 2017/18 to 2019/20;
  • HMRC has received information on name, address and values of cryptoassets belonging to their clients;
  • HMRC has received information from exchanges for 2017/18 to 2019/20 inclusive.

It is not surprising, and indeed perfectly normal, to find that HMRC are using statutory powers to gather information as part of their ongoing obligation to collect taxes.


Gherson’s white-collar crime and investigations and tax teams urge anyone who requires advice on the tax treatment of cryptoassets, or has been approached by HMRC, to get in contact, send us an: e-mail, or alternatively, follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook to stay up-to-date.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2021


Thomas Cattee 

  Thomas Cattee

  Solicitor in our White Collar Crime Defence Team

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