Arbitrum Tax Guide
We’re excited to announce that our integration with Arbitrum is now live!
Arbitrum is a layer 2 scaling solution built on optimistic rollup technology, sitting in parallel to the main Ethereum network on layer 1. Through optimistic rollups, any transactions on Arbitrum are processed in the ArbOS and then written to the Ethereum mainnet as calldata, thereby avoiding Ethereum network congestion and reducing gas costs. Arbitrum’s scalability empowers users who enjoy the mechanics and building blocks of Ethereum to have a faster, cheaper experience - all with the same level of security as Ethereum mainnet.
This integration serves to provide Arbitrum users with a low-friction way to stay tax compliant. It allows for the automatic importing and categorization of users’ Arbitrum transaction activity; something that anyone who has ever engaged with a layer 2 solution before will know is usually a huge pain point at tax time.
Let’s dive right into it! Here’s a quick and easy breakdown of how to import your Arbitrum transaction history into CryptoTaxCalculator:
- Locate and copy the wallet address/es associated with your Arbitrum account. This will be accessible via the wallet you used to connect to the Arbitrum network originally (e.g. if you use Metamask, navigate to the Arbitrum One network and you’ll be able to copy your wallet address from there).
- In CryptoTaxCalculator enter Arbitrum into the search field or scroll down and select it from the list.
- Enter your Arbitrum wallet address into CryptoTaxCalculator, provide an optional nickname, and click Add Wallet. It is possible to add multiple wallet addresses after you add the first.
- Your wallet/s will now sync and CryptoTaxCalculator will pull in all the transactions associated with your Arbitrum wallet.
No matter the rhyme or reason for you hopping over the metaphorical bridge to Arbitrum’s layer 2 solution, CryptoTaxCalculator is the product for you to manage your transaction activity heading into the tax season.
Once you’ve imported your Arbitrum wallets into CryptoTaxCalculator, you will see that your transactions on Arbitrum have been imported into the app when navigating to the ‘review transactions’ tab. Our algorithm will have auto-categorized the majority of these transactions. If there are any transactions which haven’t been able to be identified and/or categorized, you may need to manually adjust these. For information on how to correctly do so, please refer to our guide here.
Let’s start with the usual first port of call for users who have transacted on Arbitrum’s layer 2. Arbitrum can trustlessly move assets from Ethereum mainnet to Arbitrum chain and back again. Any asset / asset type can in principle be bridged, including ETH, ERC20 tokens, ERC-721 tokens etc.
Bridging from Ethereum mainnet to Arbitrum
- If you bridge any asset into Arbitrum via the Arbitrum Bridge, this conversion is likely to be considered a transfer event (i.e. no ownership change) and only the transfer fees incurred will be seen as taxable. As bridging occurs between two chains, you will need to import both your Ethereum wallet and your Arbitrum wallet to obtain the complete transaction history needed to finalize your tax return. Once you’ve imported both wallets, CryptoTaxCalculator will be able to recognize the transfers vs the transfer fees incurred and categorize these transactions accordingly.
Bridging from Arbitrum to Ethereum mainnet
- If you have an asset in Arbitrum that you decide to move back to Ethereum mainnet, this is likely considered a transfer event and once again, only the transfer fees incurred are taxable. There are two parts to this action; Arbitrum and Ethereum mainnet. When you execute a withdrawal from Arbitrum, funds from your Arbitrum wallet are used to power this. To receive the withdrawal on Ethereum mainnet, processing power is also needed - thereby funds on your ETH mainnet wallet are used. These two instances of transfer fees will be taxable, so make sure you import wallet addresses from both protocols.
Bridging to Arbitrum via a fiat-based on-ramp (e.g. Transak)\
- If you’re using a fiat-based on-ramp like Transak to purchase cryptocurrency with a local currency (e.g. USD, AUD, GBP etc), this purchase is likely not considered a taxable event as you are not disposing of any cryptocurrency to do so. Similarly, you’ll notice that the fees paid to both the on-ramp product and network are paid in fiat, so these will likely not be taxable either. What does need to be taken into account is that the cost basis of your crypto for future CGT taxes will include these fee costs.
Bridging to Arbitrum via a supported Exchange (e.g. Crypto.com)\
If you’re someone who has bought a token on an exchange, and have then transferred it to Arbitrum’s protocol via their direct integration, this is the section for you. Popular exchanges such as Crypto.com have collaborated with Arbitrum to provide a way to transfer assets to their layer 2. As mentioned earlier, the transfer of your asset from Crypto.com (as an example) to Arbitrum is not a taxable event, as the asset is not changing ownership. However, any fees incurred are. Once again, you will need to import both your Arbitrum wallet and your associated exchange wallet address into CryptoTaxCalculator to form a complete tax return.
Arbitrum: Once your Arbitrum wallets are imported into CryptoTaxCalculator, you will be able to see the transfer of the relevant tokens when they are sent to Arbitrum via the above avenues. You will also be able to see the transfer costs associated with this action.
Ethereum mainnet: To correctly determine the transfer fee of the bridged asset, you will need to import your associated Ethereum wallet where you received the token from the Arbitrum network. CryptoTaxCalculator will then automatically categorize this transfer and associated fee.
The platform you’re using to stake tokens on Arbitrum will determine what type of taxes you’ll be required to pay. If the platform you’re using allows you to stake your tokens for a designated period of time, with no LP token given in return, it is likely that only the staking rewards will be treated as taxable income at the point of claiming. If the platform you’re using allows you to stake your tokens for a period of time and you receive an LP token in the meantime, this will likely be considered a crypto-to-crypto transfer. This is because you’re technically passing ownership of your original asset into the staking pool’s custody in exchange for another token. This means that this will be recognized as a disposal event, and you will have to be aware of the market price at the time of disposal for both the original token and the token you received. If there are any gains or losses on the market value of either token between the time of disposal and the time of reward, you will be subject to CGT taxes. Our software recognizes these transactions as such, and will help you categorize them accordingly.
In most jurisdictions any gain from acting as a validator is taxable as ordinary income at its market value on the date you receive it. Depending on the length of time the validation period is set will affect how often these taxable events occur. If at a later date the validator sells the crypto received as a validation reward, it will be subject to capital gains tax. Our product has options to register different types of income received through activities such as validating.
With dApps like C.R.E.A.M Finance, UniSwap, Curve and more being built or integrated with Arbitrum comes a whole batch of taxable events associated with swapping, sending, receiving, trading and/or borrowing tokens. In most cases, all of these actions likely incur a ‘disposal’. An example of a taxable event within the DeFi world of Arbitrum would be lending tokens via a lending protocol such as C.R.E.A.M in order to earn interest. When lending assets, a user will have to put a supported asset into a lending pool. This would only be viewed as a taxable event if you receive a token in return for proving lending supply. If this is the case, receiving this additional token would trigger a Capital Gains Tax event. Receiving the interest gained for lending your crypto will also be viewed as a taxable event. If you receive the interest in the form of the token you lent (e.g. you lent ETH and received ETH as interest), this will likely be considered taxable income. If you receive the interest in the form of a token different to the one you lent (e.g. you lent ETH and received SUSHI as interest), this will likely be taxed with CGT. CryptoTaxCalculator recognizes these transactions, and once the data is imported into our platform, the algorithm will categorize them for you.
Have you been margin trading on a platform like MCDEX within Arbitrum? We can understand why: permissionless, high liquidity, capital efficiency - the list goes on. So, what does that mean for your crypto tax return? There’s several aspects to crypto margin trading that may incur taxes, so bear with us as we go through each of them:
- Gains: If you’re participating in crypto margin trading, you’ll have to keep track of (or let us keep track of!) any capital gains made. These gains will likely incur CGT tax.
- Losses: If you’ve experienced losses in crypto margin trading, you can use these to offset any net capital gains. Our software will recognize losses as such and automatically apply offsets to capital gains for you.
- Liquidation: Liquidating assets is usually considered a ‘disposal’, and will therefore likely incur CGT tax.
- Fees: Typically, any fees paid to participate in crypto margin trading can be deducted from your taxable gains. This varies from region to region, so if in doubt, reach out to either us or your tax professional!
Our software has both auto and manual categorization for each of these events, so if you’re a crypto margin trader - welcome home!
Just like on Ethereum mainnet, the cornerstone of Arbitrum is the ability to build dApps on the protocol. Whether you’ve purchased jpegs from an NFT marketplace like Treasure, or you’re deep in the realms of Magicland, whatever your activity on an Arbitrum based dApp; we’ve got you covered. The taxable events and types of tax incurred will vary depending on your activity and the dApp used. Our software covers these with our wide range of categorization options. If something isn’t recognized immediately by our algorithm, you have the power to manually add the type of transaction it was. How good!
A large part of Arbitrum’s value offering is the lower fees in comparison to fees on Ethereum mainnet. We wanted to drill this particular point home, because ‘lower fees’ does not mean ‘no fees’. With tax compliance and Arbitrum, you will need to find a way to track each and every one of your transaction fees. Now, you could use our calculator to do so OR you could do it yourself - either way, it’s an important enough note to wrap up this Arbitrum tax guide with.
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