Celo Tax Guide
We’re excited to announce that our integration with Celo is now live!
Celo is a mobile-first, EVM-compatible blockchain ecosystem that aims to provide financial services to underbanked and unbanked populations through the use of a stablecoin, CELO. The platform utilizes a consensus mechanism called "Proof of Stake Validators" which allows users to stake their CELO holdings to participate in the decision-making process of the network. The project is focused on providing low-cost and accessible financial services to individuals and communities, particularly in emerging markets.
This integration serves to provide Celo users with a low-friction way to stay tax compliant. It allows for the automatic importing and categorization of users’ Celo transaction activity; an automated solution at tax time.
Let’s dive right into it! Here’s a quick and easy breakdown of how to import your Celo transaction history into CryptoTaxCalculator:
- Locate and copy the wallet address/es associated with your Celo account. This will be accessible via the wallet you used to connect to the Celo network originally (e.g. if you use Metamask, navigate to the Celo Andromeda network and you’ll be able to copy your wallet address from there).
- In CryptoTaxCalculator enter Celo into the search field or scroll down and select it from the list.
- Enter your Celo 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 Celo wallet.
No matter the rhyme or reason for you hopping over the metaphorical bridge to Celo’ layer 2 solution, CryptoTaxCalculator is the product for you to manage your transaction activity heading into the tax season.
Once you’ve imported your Celo wallets into CryptoTaxCalculator, you will see that your transactions on Celo 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 Celo’ layer 2. Celo can trustlessly move assets from Ethereum mainnet to Celo 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 Celo
- If you bridge any asset into Celo via a smart contract 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 Celo 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 Celo to Ethereum mainnet
- If you have an asset in Celo 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; Celo and Ethereum mainnet. When you execute a withdrawal from Celo, funds from your Celo 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 Celo via a fiat-based on-ramp
- 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 Celo via a supported Exchange
- If you’re someone who has bought a token on an exchange, and have then transferred it to Celo via a direct integration, this is the section for you. As mentioned earlier, the transfer of your asset from an exchange to Celo 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 Celo wallet and your associated exchange wallet address into CryptoTaxCalculator to form a complete tax return.
- Celo: Once your Celo wallets are imported into CryptoTaxCalculator, you will be able to see the transfer of the relevant tokens when they are sent to Celo 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 Celo network. CryptoTaxCalculator will then automatically categorize this transfer and associated fee.
The platform you’re using to stake tokens on Celo 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 Transit Finance, Uniswap and more being built or integrated with Celo 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 Celo would be lending tokens via a lending protocol such as Annexin 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 Celo 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.
Just like on Ethereum mainnet, the cornerstone of Celo is the ability to build dApps on the protocol. Whether your swapping tokens or providing liquidity on a DEX like Transit Swap,we’ve got you covered on Celo. 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 Celo’ 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 Celo, 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 Celo tax guide with.
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