Tuesday, June 28, 2022

How Much Does Crypto Get Taxed

How To Calculate How Much You Owe In Taxes

TAX MANAGER EXPLAINS Crypto Taxes for Beginners 2021

The IRS states that investors can identify the coins they are selling as long as there are detailed records. According to the highest cost basis method, also known as Highest-in-First-out accounting, you could be subject to lower taxes as calculated with least amount of gains.

If you do not have a detailed trading history, the accounting method would automatically default to First-in-First-out , where it would be assumed that you are selling the earliest purchased unit of crypto asset regardless of price.

After recording the gains under the preferred accounting method, the gains are categorized as either short-term or long-term capital gains depending on the duration of which the coins were held.

Short-term gains are calculated when you have held the cryptocurrencies for less than 12 months. These capital gains also count toward cryptocurrency tax and are then added to your regular income and it would be subject to your ordinary income tax bracket.

Your capital gains would be considered as long-term if you sell your tokens after holding them for over 12 months. These gains would be subject to taxes on crypto that range from the 0% to 20% tax brackets.

For an individual that has made capital gains of $40,000 or less during the fiscal year, the investor would be subject to a 0% tax rate. However, individuals who have made over $40,000 during this period would be subject to a tax rate of 15%.

How Do Capital Gains Taxes Work

If you’re buying and selling cryptocurrencies, you’ll pay capital gains taxes on the profits. However, the tax rate depends on your taxable income and whether you held on to the cryptocurrency for at least a year.

When you buy and sell cryptocurrencies within a year, the short-term gains are taxed as ordinary income. However, if you hold on to your cryptocurrency for a year or more, you’ll pay long-term capital gainswhich may be beneficial.

The income limits and tax rates can depend on your filing status, and may change from one year to the next. Here are the tax rates for single taxpayers for the 2021 tax year.

2021 Capital Gains Tax Rates for Single Filers
Sold Within One Year

Move To A State With Less Or No Income Tax

Moving is a big decision with many consequences. However, saving money is a common cause of migration.

If the state you currently live in charges high state income taxes, youre losing money to taxes just by living there. If moving wouldnt disrupt your lifestyle or current income, it can make sense to move just to save on taxes. Depending on the differences in state taxes where you are now and your destination, the savings can be enormous.

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Calculate Your Crypto Gains And Losses

Every time you dispose of your cryptocurrency, youâll incur capital gains or capital losses. These disposal events include, but are not limited to:

  • Selling your cryptocurrency for fiat
  • Trading your cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency
  • Buying goods and services with cryptocurrency â

To calculate your gain or loss from each transaction, youâll need to track how the price of each one of your assets changed from the time you originally received them.

Hereâs a formula you can use:

Then, your capital gains and losses for your relevant cryptocurrency transactions should be reported on Form 8949.

How To Report Your Capital Gains/losses

Calculator How Much Made On Crypto Trade Support The Site ...

Hereâs an example of an investor calculating and reporting a capital gain.

Unfortunately, these calculations arenât always so simple. An active cryptocurrency trader may have thousands of buys and sells in a year, making it difficult to track their original cost basis.

Cryptocurrency tax software like CryptoTrader.Tax can handle this for you automatically. Simply connect your exchanges, import your historical transactions, and let the software crunch your gains and losses for all of your transactions in seconds.

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Moving Cryptocurrency From One Wallet To Another

If youre simply moving your cryptocurrency from one wallet to another e.g. from Coinbase to GDAX or your own wallet then it would not be a taxable event as long as you havent sold any of your cryptocurrency during the process.

That being said, there might be some tax implications . . . sort of.

Lets say you paid a $10 transfer fee, well that would be a transaction cost which you could deduct from your capital gains later. The same applies to any fees you incur when you buy or sell your crypto.

Bitcoin Used To Pay For Goods And Services Taxed As Income

If you are an employer paying with Bitcoin, you must report employee earnings to the IRS on W-2 forms.

  • You must convert the Bitcoin value to U.S. dollars as of the date each payment is made and keep careful records.
  • Wages paid in virtual currency are subject to withholding to the same extent as dollar wages.

Employees must report their total W-2 wages in dollars, even if earned as Bitcoin. Self-employed individuals with Bitcoin gains or losses from sales transactions also must convert the virtual currency to dollars as of the day received, and report the figures on their tax returns.

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Reporting Cryptocurrency On Your Taxes

Letâs get to the final step of understanding US crypto taxes by learning how to report cryptocurrency taxes.

It is easy to get confused as to which IRS tax form is required for what purpose. As we already know crypto investing leads to the generation of capital gains taxes, and activities like mining, staking, and rewards collection will lead to income taxes.

Most important tax forms in the United States:

Tax Form
Report non-employment income to the Internal Revenue Service.

How Much Do I Owe In Crypto Taxes

Can You Avoid Paying Taxes on Bitcoin? How Much is Crypto Taxed?

How much you owe in cryptocurrency taxes depends on your annual income and how long youve held your cryptocurrency.

  • If youve owned your coins for less than one year before spending or selling them, any profits would be short-term capital gains, taxed at your normal income tax rate.
  • If youve held your crypto for one year or more, any profit would be long-term capital gains, taxed at a lower rate, determined by your annual income.

If you earn cryptocurrency by mining it, or receive it as a promotion or as payment for goods or services, it counts as regular taxable income. You owe tax on the entire value of the crypto on the day you received it, at your regular income tax rate.

In addition, if you hold cryptocurrency from these activities, and either spend or sell them later for more than their value when you first received them, you owe short- or long-term capital gains taxes on the profits, based on how long youve held it.

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Trading Cryptocurrency In Your Tfsa And Rrsp

With any potential capital gain, investors will always try to shelter themselves from taxes. The next logical question people ask is can I trade cryptocurrency in my TFSA and RRSP?

No, you cant. Nor can you transfer any Bitcoins you currently have into your TFSA or RRSP. Cryptocurrencies operate on their own exchange which does not tie any accounts which are tax friendly. That said, there are now cryptocurrency ETFs that can be purchased within your TFSA or RRSP.

Do You Pay Taxes For Holding Cryptocurrency

If you simply buy bitcoin or another cryptocurrency and hold it in a wallet, you do not have any sort of tax reporting requirement as you havenât realized a gain or loss on your investment yet.

Once you sell, trade, or trigger a taxable event by disposing of the coin, this is when you realize a capital gain or loss.

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How Are Airdrops Taxed

Cryptocurrency received from an airdrop is taxed as income. This means that you are liable for income taxes on the USD value of the claimed airdrop.

The IRS is clear in its guidance regarding the income treatment of airdrops.


George receives 400 UNI tokens via the Uniswap airdrop in September 2020. At the time of receiving the tokens, UNI was trading at $3.50.

In this example, George realizes $1,400 of income when he claims the tokens. His cost basis in UNI becomes the amount of income recognized, in this case $1,400.

If George sells his 400 UNI two months later for $2,000, this is a taxable event and he incurs a capital gain of $600 .

If Your Bitcoin Is Stolen Tough

How Does Cryptocurrency Get Taxed

Being robbed is bad enough, and previously if youd been swindled of your bitcoins, you might have been able to deduct it as a theft loss on your taxes. However, the new tax rules do away with the deduction for personal theft losses.

Another tax rule doesnt look favorable for owners of digital currency, either. The IRS allows owners to trade many kinds of property for a similar kind of property without immediately incurring a tax liability its called a like-kind exchange.

Before the tax law changes, bitcoin owners wanted to know whether they could engage in like-kind transactions with other cryptocurrencies. The answer was unclear, Harris says. What was unclear was whether one crypto was like-kind to another. Now the new tax reform has limited like-kind exchanges to real property, not personal goods.

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Irs Measures How To Report Taxes On Crypto

So, how does the IRS know that you have invested in crypto? If youve done your taxes recently, you may have noticed a question on Form 1040 asking if you have made any transactions using a virtual currency during the year. This scenario might make you think this is like asking a child if they have candy if they say yes, you want a piece, and if they say no, you wouldnt know!

However, in reality, the situation is more complex.

The IRS can check your transactions against their sources to identify if there are any virtual currency transactions. And if youve onboarded your fiat dollars using a popular exchange like Gemini or Coinbase its likely the gov will find out sooner or later. Think of it as a grownup checking the childs pocket for candy.

Its in your best interest to stay transparent. Failure to report virtual currencies can lead to hefty fines and if the value is significant, you may even have to do some jail time!

Valuing Cryptocurrencies Either As Capital Property Or Inventory

To file your income tax return, you need to know how to value your cryptocurrencies. This depends on whether they are considered capital property or inventory. When cryptocurrencies are held as capital property, you must record and track the adjusted cost base so that you can accurately report any capital gains.

If the cryptocurrencies are considered to be inventory, use one of the following two methods of valuing inventory consistently from year to year:

  • value each item in the inventory at its cost when it was acquired or its fair market value at the end of the year, whichever is lower
  • value the entire inventory at its fair market value at the end of the year

You might have to use other methods of valuing inventory, depending on the type of business you have. For example, property described in the inventory of a business that is an adventure or concern in the nature of trade must be valued at the cost you acquired the property for.

You will have to compare the cost and the fair market value of each item to figure out which is lower. You then use the lower figure for each item to calculate the total value of your inventory at the end of the year.

“Cost” as used in the phrase “cost at which the taxpayer acquired the property,” means the original cost of the particular item of inventory , plus all reasonable costs incurred to buy that particular block of cryptocurrency.

Use the same inventory method from year to year. Please review our archived page on inventory .

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Crypto Miners May Be Treated Differently From Others

Do you mine cryptocurrency as a business? Then you might be able to deduct your expenses, as a typical business would. Your revenue is the value of what you produce.

If you mine cryptocurrency, you realize income at the fair market value, so thats your basis in the cryptocurrency, says Harris. If this is a trade or business, your expenses may be deductible.

But that last bit is the key point: You have to be running a trade or business to qualify. You cant operate your mining rig as a hobby and enjoy the same deductions as an actual business.

Which Crypto Tax Accounting Method Is Best For You


Even though LIFO and HIFO can help you shield yourself from paying hefty taxes, FIFO is the most common method among taxpayers.

It must also be noted that if you intend to use the LIFO or the HIFO method for gains calculations, you have to keep a detailed record of all your transactions. Only then you can calculate the gains in a hassle-free manner.

This was all about calculating your capital gains, but what if you incur losses? Letâs explore tax losses and how harvesting those losses can help you minimize your tax obligations.

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How To Report Cryptocurrency On Your Taxes In 5 Steps

Not sure how to report your cryptocurrency taxes?

Youâre not alone. As cryptocurrency is still a relatively new space, itâs not always easy to find tax professionals with expertise on the subject.

To help investors like you, we simplified cryptocurrency tax reporting into an easy-to-follow 5-step process. By the time you finish reading, youâll understand how to report all of your crypto transactions on your tax return.

Should I Use An Accountant

If youre unsure about how to handle your taxes, speak to an accountant who has experience with cryptocurrencies who can guide you through the process or file your taxes on your behalf. That said, theyre still going to need some kind of paper trail to help you out.

Another solution is to try TurboTax Live Full Service since youll get access to a tax expert who can file on your behalf. You can ask them as many questions as you want and you only get charged when you actually file.

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Offset Gains With Losses

As with any investment, you can take advantage of crypto gains by also claiming losses on other investments the year you realize your profit. That means if you made $10,000 for selling Bitcoin but lost $10,000 for selling Ethereum, you wouldnt owe any tax since you broke even.

These losses arent limited to other forms of cryptocurrency, though. If you are about to cash in a large crypto investment, look through the rest of your portfolio to see if there are other losing investments you could sell to offset your gains. And if you end up losing substantially more than you gain in a year, you can deduct up to $3,000 in the excess losses against your personal income taxes as well as carry forward any unused losses to offset your future investment gains.

Two Types Of Crypto Taxes: Capital Gain Vs Income

How much tax do you have to pay for

As mentioned earlier, cryptocurrencies are taxable and in the United States, and there are two types:

  • Capital Gains Tax, similar to bonds, stocks, and other assets that qualify for capital gains.
  • Income Tax includes mining, staking, airdrops, and other related crypto activities from where one can earn income.
  • In the case of capital gains, the rates depend on the holding period and are classified as:

  • Short-term capital gains tax, taxes on assets that are held for less than a year. The rates are usually higher and range from 10% to 37%.
  • Long-term capital gains tax, taxes on assets that are held for a period longer than a year. The rates for long-term capital gains range from 0% to 20%.
  • Here is a list of activities that fall under capital gains tax vs. income tax.

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    Inherited Cryptocurrency Is Treated Like Other Inherited Assets

    Inherited cryptocurrency is treated like other capital assets that are passed from one generation to another. They may be subject to estate taxes if the estate exceeds certain thresholds .

    Like stock, cryptocurrency enjoys a stepped-up cost basis to the fair value on the day of death. So generally, cryptocurrency is treated for most people like a typical capital asset, says Harris.

    Multiply To Get The Profit Margin

    Most of the profits and losses when trading cryptocurrencies are expressed as percentages. Calculation method: You can calculate the profit of cryptocurrency trading by multiplying by growth rate.


    Multiplies the price at the time of purchasing cryptocurrency by the corresponding percentage formula. The rate of increase between 10% and 50% is expressed as:

    • 1.1 for 10%
    • 1.4 for 40%
    • 1.5 for 50%

    Suppose you bought Cardano at a starting price of $ 2. You just want to make 10% of the trade and withdraw from the market. Multiply the starting price by the corresponding 10% profit margin. That is, $ 2 multiplied by 1.1 .

    It gives you $ 2.2, where $ 2 is your capital and $ 0.2 is the 10% profit you made. If you want to get 50% off trades as a profit, you can do the same. In this case, the calculation is 2 x 1.5 = $ 3. Remove $ 2 capital. All that remains is 50% of the capital, or $ 1.

    However, you can calculate 100% profit / profit by doing the following: 2 x 2 = $ 4.

    As a rule of thumb, every time you multiply by 100, add the number 1.

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