Cryptocurrency and Taxes: What You Need to Know

Cryptocurrency and Taxes : You need to know

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Are you confused about how to handle your cryptocurrency taxes? You’re not alone. Many people don’t realize that transactions involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are subject to taxation, and even fewer know how to accurately report these transactions.

For nearly a decade, we have been focused on the intricacies of crypto tax. During this time, we have encountered numerous challenges and mistakes. In this article, we will highlight the top crypto tax errors that can lead to hefty fines and audits by the IRS. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently invest in cryptocurrency, knowing how to navigate the tax landscape. Keep reading to learn more about cryptocurrency taxes in 2023.

What’s cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital representation of value that has been used for over a decade and is becoming increasingly popular. It is not tangible, you can’t see it or hold it in your hand, and it is not regulated by any banks or governments. Instead of banks, it uses a distributed and encrypted blockchain network to process transactions. 

Also Read: Tax Changes Affecting Businesses from the American Rescue Plan Act 

Cryptocurrency units are often referred to as coins, even though there is no physical coin. Coins can be stored in digital wallets, or exchanged and brokered through services such as Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and eToro.

Bitcoin was the pioneering cryptocurrency and is still the most utilized. Ethereum, Litecoin, and Dogecoin are some of the other prominent digital currencies that have joined the market. You can use cryptocurrency to buy goods or services, as an investment, or to transfer funds to someone else, whether for other cryptocurrencies or regular currency. These transactions are recorded in a blockchain, a digital public ledger that is kept anonymous.

Cryptocurrency transactions may appear simple on the surface, such as scanning a QR code or copying and pasting a long ID. Behind the scenes, however, the transaction is much more complex than a typical bank transaction. Instead of relying on a single bank or exchange, the transaction is verified by multiple distributed servers.

Do people have to pay taxes on cryptocurrency?

Yes, people are required to pay taxes on cryptocurrency in certain situations. The IRS classifies cryptocurrency as an asset. This means sales fall under capital gains tax laws like other assets.

Do people have to pay taxes on cryptocurrency?

Moreover, buying something using cryptocurrency is also taxable. Because the person disposes of cryptocurrency to make a purchase, which is different from normal currencies.

Also Read: Top 10 IRS Income Tax Audit Triggers

How are taxes paid on cryptocurrency?

If you sell, trade, or give away cryptocurrency and make a profit or lose money, you have to pay taxes on it. If you sell or trade cryptocurrency and make money, you have to pay taxes on the profit just like you do with other assets. The same is true for tokens that can’t be exchanged for cash. A capital gain or loss should be reported on your taxes.

How are taxes paid on cryptocurrency?

You also have to pay taxes on cryptocurrency when the following things happen:

  • Trading,
  • Mining,
  • Paying for goods or services
  • Obtaining it as a payment or reward 

Buying, selling, and trading in cryptocurrencies:

When buying cryptocurrency, no taxes are due unless the token is used in addition to the purchase. Taxes are due if the token is sold, traded, or used as a form of payment. If a token is bought for $800 and then sold for $1,000, the $200 gain must be reported on taxes. Similarly, if the token is bought for $800 but sold for $600, the $200 loss can be used to offset other taxable gains and income.

Buying, selling, and trading in cryptocurrencies:

Trading cryptocurrency is also a taxable event. If one token is traded for another, such as dogecoin for bitcoin, any gains must be reported. If a dogecoin is bought for $5,000 and is later traded for a bitcoin valued at $10,000, the resulting $5,000 gain must be reported.

Mining for cryptocurrency:

When a new cryptocurrency token is created, the process of cryptocurrency mining takes place. This process validates and adds the token to the blockchain for public circulation after the miner solves cryptographic puzzles.

Mining for cryptocurrency:

A reward or payment is typically given to the miner for their work, which is considered taxable income. To report this income, you should convert the cryptocurrency to its U.S. dollar value on the day it was received and report it on Form 1099-NEC.

Getting or using cryptocurrency as payment

If you are paid in cryptocurrency for goods or services, this payment is considered taxable income. The amount of taxable income is the cryptocurrency’s fair market value on the day and time the payment was received converted into U.S. dollars. For example, if a boat worth $35,000 was purchased with bitcoin, but the bitcoin’s fair market value was $30,000 when the payment was received, then the gain on the transaction would be $5,000. However, if the bitcoin was worth $40,000 at the time of payment, then the loss would be $5,000. This loss can be used to offset any other taxable income or capital gains in the same year.

Participating in an airdrop or fork

When a new project is launched and a new cryptocurrency is introduced, platforms or exchanges may offer their customers free tokens as an encouragement to adopt the new currency. This act of distributing free tokens is referred to as a crypto airdrop and is considered a taxable event, meaning it needs to be reported. 

Participating in an airdrop or fork

The process of hard-forking a blockchain network involves upgrading the network with new software or rules. This invalidates the previous blockchain network, requiring users to upgrade to the latest version. To motivate users to upgrade, an airdrop may be offered after the hard fork. In this case, the new cryptocurrency offered through the airdrop is a taxable event.

Capital gains and losses in cryptocurrency

When it comes to cryptocurrency, it is taxed as property and is similar to stocks. Therefore, capital gains must be reported. The amount of taxation depends on the length of time that the cryptocurrency was held. Assets, such as cryptocurrency, that are held for less than a year are subject to the short-term capital gains and losses tax rate. 

Capital gains and losses in cryptocurrency

Holding the asset for more than a year, on the other hand, qualifies for the long-term capital gains and losses tax rate. To calculate a capital loss or gain, subtract the selling price of the cryptocurrency from the original amount paid. The difference between these two figures is a capital gain (profit) or loss.

How are cryptocurrency transactions reported?

There are different IRS forms you may need to fill out depending on how you used the cryptocurrency. These include Form 8949, Schedule C, Schedule D, and Form 1040.

Most cryptocurrency exchange platforms don’t send tax forms, so it’s important to keep receipts and confirmations of all transactions with the date. Like regular tax forms, these have to be turned in every year.

Talk to a tax expert, use a cryptocurrency tax calculator, or look at these answers from the IRS’s tax guide if you have more questions.

Also Read: 5 Ways to Speed Up Your Cash Flow 


In conclusion, while the world of cryptocurrency can be exciting and full of potential for financial gain, it’s important to remember that these assets are subject to taxation. Understanding the tax implications of your investments is crucial for staying compliant with the law and avoiding penalties. In this blog, we’ve covered the basics of cryptocurrency taxation, but it’s important to consult with a tax professional for more specific guidance on your individual situation. For more information on cryptocurrency taxation and other financial topics, visit our website at Finaccurate.

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