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Study Claims 99.5% of Crypto Investors Did not Pay Taxes in 2022

The Swedish crypto tax service Divly has issued a new analysis estimating that only 0.53% of crypto investors worldwide would pay tax on their crypto in 2022 — but tax experts have questioned the data and approach. 

The estimate was derived from an analysis of the association between the number of persons who disclosed cryptocurrency in their tax returns and the search volume for crypto tax-related terms in various countries, according to a Divly research released on April 5. It also calculated the number of crypto holders in each nation using Statista’s Global Cryptocurrency Report.

According to the analysis, Finland has the largest proportion of crypto investors who paid the appropriate taxes on crypto in 2022, at 4.09%, with Australia close behind on 3.65%. The United States was ranked tenth on the list, with an estimated 1.62%, while India, Indonesia, and the Philippines had the lowest percentages of tax-paying crypto investors, with 0.07%, 0.04%, and 0.03%, respectively.

The mechanism utilized to calculate the estimations is dubious. The paper itself limits the findings by pointing out that search traffic statistics may not correctly reflect the real number of crypto taxpayers because not everyone who pays taxes looks for crypto tax-related material online.

Another assumption in the approach was that the amount of searches for crypto tax reporting was consistent across nations. It also warned that there might be a bias towards countries with better internet access and more accurate search traffic statistics.

Danny Talwar, worldwide head of tax at crypto tax software Koinly, questioned the report’s claim that a high proportion of crypto investors do not pay tax. “It is likely that 99.5% is not reflective of countries that have specific crypto tax guidance and strict compliance requirements, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and India,” he told Cointelegraph.

Chartered accountant Greg Valles, a Blockchain Australia board member, similarly stated that he would not be able to “say conclusively that the methodology is 100 percent accurate.” Both tax experts agreed that government data matching and monitoring operations were making it increasingly difficult to dodge crypto taxes.

Valles stated that as government technology becomes more advanced and specialized, it will be simpler to find people who are not complying, and cautioned that those who refuse to declare their crypto gains today risk having it caught up with them in the future.

Although the potential of non-compliance for crypto is higher than for other asset classes, Talwar underlined that tax authorities in many countries have systems in place to get data from crypto exchanges. He said that understanding of crypto tax has “increased significantly” among investors in these countries, with just “15% of surveyed crypto investors” uninformed of their crypto tax reporting obligations.


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