G20 sets 2027 as the year in which it hopes members can tax crypto transactions

Leaders settle for modest action on issues including AI, stablecoins, cross-border payments

The annual G20 leaders' summit has delivered a tame set of resolutions regarding technology, with a 2027 target year for the implementation of a planned CryptoAsset Reporting Framework (CARF) the most impactful proposal as it is designed specifically to take into account the crypto sector's aim of providing an alternative to established and regulated financial institutions.

The G20 Leaders Declaration [PDF] declares the member nations are committed to a "modern international tax system appropriate to the needs of the 21st century" and called for the "swift implementation" of both CARF and associated amendments to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) common reporting standards.

In G20-speak, "swift implementation" translates to four years from now.

"We ask the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) to identify an appropriate and coordinated timeline to commence exchanges by relevant jurisdictions, noting the aspiration of a significant number of these jurisdictions to start CARF exchanges by 2027 and to report to our future meetings on the progress of its work," reads the document.

The OECD [PDF] describes CARF as a "dedicated global tax transparency framework." It automates the exchange of crypto-related tax information within an appropriate tax residency on an annual basis.

India took over the presidency of the G20 at the end of 2022. India's finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has previously indicated the nation would use the presidency to push for crypto regs. The leaders' declaration does not deliver on that ambition.

India's domestic response to cryptocurrency regulation thus far has mostly involved heavy taxation – with a side of discouraging their use for illegal activities.

The year 2027 was also outlined by the G20 as a target for "faster, cheaper, more transparent and inclusive cross-border payments," to which the group deferred to initiatives undertaken by standard setting bodies (SSBs) and international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Deferment was a common theme within the communique. Aside from taxation, there was little technical guidance on how to achieve any set goals.

Development of crypto and stablecoin policy was delegated to other SSBs – including the G20-affiliated Financial Stability Board – with a roadmap to be provided by and IMF-FSB Synthesis Paper and BIS providing some risk assessment.

"Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors will discuss taking forward the roadmap at their meeting in October 2023," according to the communique.

Policies on AI were even more vague. The group reaffirmed its commitment to AI principles developed in 2019 – before generative AI vastly increased the exposure and ease with which it could be applied. The leaders said they would "endeavor to share information on approaches to using AI to support solutions in the digital economy" and "pursue a pro-innovation regulatory/governance approach" that takes risks into account and promotes using AI to meet sustainability goals.

The leaders said they also welcome FSB recommendations on cyber incident reporting and enhancing third-party risk management and oversight for the financial sector.

"We expect the toolkit to support efforts in enhancing the operational resilience of financial institutions, addressing the challenges arising from their growing reliance on critical third-party service providers, including BigTechs and FinTechs, as well as reducing fragmentation in regulatory and supervisory approaches across jurisdictions and in different areas of the financial services sector," the leaders' declaration … erm … declares. ®

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