I own a business and I want to know how to accept bitcoins for payment and whether it is legal to accept them in Canada? For example, if someone pays me 2 bitcoins for a computer, do I need to charge taxes? If yes, do I need to charge 2 bitcoins and 50$ in Canadian money so I can give the taxes to the government?


4 Answers 4


IANAL. Yet, I am baffled, why a different payment method should exempt you from paying taxes. I'd just treat Bitcoin in that regard like another fiat currency or different payment method. E.g. a shop at the border to the US taking US dollars in exchange for goods certainly wouldn't be legally exempt from paying taxes on that sale just because of it being paid in USD instead of CAD.

So, in my experience the flow would be something like:

  • Calculate your customers bill just as you would in any other case in Canadian dollars.
  • Add shipping fee and similar.
  • Apply VAT based on CAD value. (1)
  • Present the bill stating the amount in CAD, "payable in X Bitcoin to address 1xyz".
  • Put the transaction into your bookkeeping with the CAD value, including a remark "payment method: Bitcoin, X BTC".
  • Keep Bitcoin/Sell Bitcoin/Whatever floats your boat.
  • When paying taxes for your business, include amount of CAD in height of (1) for the transaction just as you would with any other sale.

I am not a lawyer, I have never lived in Canada, the above is solely based on my experience of how the world works. ;)


Vault of Satoshi is an exchange located in Canada. VoS seems to be rather meticulous when it comes to operating legally. They are delaying even non-fiat, coin to coin trades for people in the US until robust, state-by-state licensure is in place. I have found their support staff to be highly responsive.


Try dropping them a line and explain your particular business circumstance. They might even be able to offer you some reporting services akin to CoinBase's tax reports.

  • 2
    At first I read your answer to mean, that Vault of Satoshi is "buttoned-up", but I take it now that the Canadian government is? You might want to clarify that.
    – Murch
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 6:11
  • Good call Murch. VoS was the entity to which I intended to refer. I've edited to clarify.
    – CoinHeavy
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 15:14
  • 1
    Actually, I must admit that your edit confused me more at first: From the term I had assumed that "to be buttoned up" was to mean that one was taciturn about something, yet from the context I'd deduce that it probably means rather something along the lines of "doing something by the book"? Considering that only about 5.4% of the world's population speak English as their native language, your answer might be more accessible if you tried to put it in a less idiomatic fashion. ;)
    – Murch
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 20:56
  • Idioms cleansed. I deeply enjoy etymologies and linguistics; as a result my writing tends to be overwrought. While there is a time and a place for such writing, technical discussions are neither. Fair criticisms; keep them coming :)
    – CoinHeavy
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 22:27

I dont personally live in Canada, but its my understanding that they are one of the most liberal countries in regards to bitcoin business's. When I have ordered from


I have always had the tax added on at the end but in bitcoin, I surmise from this that WTCR then sell the 'tax' portion of the sale to fiat, and use that to pay the government.

Hope this helps


Last year, Bitcoin was declared to be a form of barter in Canada--not a currency. I suspect it has something to do with the MintChip, which was supposed to launch in February 2013.

CaVirtEx is Canada's largest Bitcoin Exchange, and is proactive when it comes to regulations. (ie. they go beyond the bare minimum). CaVirtEx would be my first choice for accepting Bitcoin in Canada.

As I understand barter & taxes in Canada, taxes are owed on the value of the bartered item, so there really isn't much difference when it comes to sales tax & GST/HST.

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