For a detailed guide, check out our blog post on how to amend your tax return to include your crypto. Tax liability is the amount an individual, business, or other entity is required to pay to a federal, state, or local government. If you are a cryptocurrency miner, the value of your crypto at the time it was mined counts as income. Opponents say the law would require anyone who moves cryptocurrency, including miners and crypto wallets, to follow the new rules, including those who have no access to that info. However, lawmakers are already working on a new bill to more narrowly define who the law applies to. Our experts have been helping you master your money for over four decades.


If you held the virtual currency for one year or less before selling or exchanging the virtual currency, then you will have a short-term capital gain or loss. If you held the virtual currency for more than one year before selling or exchanging it, then you will have a long-term capital gain or loss. The period during which you held the virtual currency (known as the “holding period”) begins on the day after you acquired the virtual currency and ends on the day you sell or exchange the virtual currency. For more information on short-term and long-term capital gains and losses, see Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets. For example, the currencies are not necessarily “like-kind” properties.

Blockchain and digital asset tax services

If you transfer held as a capital asset in exchange for virtual currency, you will recognize a capital gain or loss. If you transfer property that is not a capital asset in exchange for virtual currency, you will recognize an ordinary gain or loss. For more information on gains and losses, see Publication 544, Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets. The tax situation becomes more complex when investors use cryptocurrency to pay for purchases. In this scenario, every transaction counts as a sale of crypto, potentially triggering a capital gains tax liability as well as any applicable sales taxes, such as GST and VAT on the underlying purchase. Crypto tax software helps you by tracking, managing, and calculating the gains or losses on your crypto transactions.

  • When you buy cryptocurrency, this doesn’t create a taxable event even if the value increases over time.
  • The trader, or the trader’s tax professional, can use this to determine the trader’s taxes due.
  • Questions regarding the taxation of cryptocurrency can be complicated.
  • It behooves CPAs—especially those whose clients maintain positions in one or more cryptocurrencies—to keep abreast of the evolving regulatory picture surrounding this new kind of asset.
  • The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners.

For federal tax purposes, digital assets are treated as property. General tax principles applicable to property transactions apply to transactions using digital assets. You may be required to report your digital asset activity on your tax return. A taxpayer has two ether , which is the second most popular digital currency after bitcoin. The two ETH was purchased more than a year ago when they were valued at around $200 each.

Taxability of common transaction types

In the past few years, we have witnessed an exponential growth of both interest and investment in digital assets and cryptocurrencies. New players have launched related funds and investment vehicles. Established investment management funds are also exploring this new frontier. In California, sales and use tax does not apply to the purchase or sale of virtual and cryptocurrencies. Virtual and cryptocurrencies are not tangible personal property. Apportionment is the method for determining which income one state can tax as opposed to another state.

For more information on basis of property received as a gift, see Publication 551, Basis of Assets. A hard fork occurs when a cryptocurrency undergoes a protocol change resulting in a permanent diversion from the legacy distributed ledger. This may result in the creation of a new cryptocurrency on a new distributed ledger in addition to the legacy cryptocurrency on the legacy distributed ledger. Tax-loss harvesting is when you sell investments at a loss in order to reduce your tax liability. Imagine you bought one bitcoin at $10,000 and sold it in the same year for $15,000.

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