Cryptocurrency Tax Basics: What You Need To Know

Are you in the cryptocurrency space? If so, then you need to be aware of the tax implications of your investments. In this article, we will discuss some basic tax principles and provide a comprehensive guide on how to file your taxes for cryptocurrencies.

1: What Is Cryptocurrency Taxation?

Cryptocurrency taxation is the process of determining how to treat cryptocurrency transactions and holdings for tax purposes. There is no universal approach to cryptocurrency taxation, as cryptocurrencies are unique and complex financial instruments. In general, however, taxation of cryptocurrency transactions will depend on the country in which the transaction occurs and the nature of the cryptocurrency. Some countries have established specific tax rules for cryptocurrencies for example read this Canada’s crypto tax guide, while other countries have not taken a position on the treatment of digital tokens.

Cryptocurrency holders may be subject to income tax, capital gains tax, or both. Income from cryptocurrency transactions may be classified as taxable income regardless of whether the holder actually receives payment in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Capital gains generated from selling cryptocurrencies may be taxed at different rates than capital gains generated from buying cryptocurrencies or other assets. Cryptocurrency holders who hold their assets primarily for investment purposes may be able to reduce their overall tax liability by reporting their holdings and transactions on a Form 1099-MISC.

2: How Do You File Your Taxes For Cryptocurrencies?

If you are a cryptocurrency investor, you may be wondering how to file your taxes for 2022. You can use crypto tax tools like Koinly, Taxbit for easy tax calculation and tax reporting. Here’s a breakdown of the different tax filing options for cryptocurrencies and how to go about filing them:

  1. Self-Employment Tax: If you are self-employed and earn income from cryptocurrency trading, you will need to pay self-employment tax on that income. To figure out your self-employment tax, subtract your net profits from your total income. Then multiply that number by 25%. For example, if your net profits are $10,000 and your total income is $60,000, you would pay self-employment tax of $3,750 ($10,000 – $60,000 x 25%).
  2. Income Tax: If you are an individual taxpayer who earns cryptocurrency revenue through traditional means such as salary or wages, you will have to report that income on your federal taxes return. You will also have to pay income taxes on any capital gains (profit) from trading cryptocurrencies. For example, if you make $50K in salary and profit from crypto trading which results in a $6K capital gain (up $4K since the sale),

3: What Are The Different Ways To Report Cryptocurrency Income?

There are a few different ways to report cryptocurrency income depending on the tax jurisdiction in which you reside. Each method has its own set of requirements and benefits, so it’s important to consult with a tax specialist if you’re interested in reporting your cryptocurrency income.

The most common way to report cryptocurrency income is through capital gains or losses. When you sell cryptocurrencies, the gain or loss is typically reported on your tax return as either a short-term capital gain or loss, depending on how long you held the digital asset before selling it.

If you hold onto the digital asset for more than one year, the gain or loss is reported as a long-term capital gain or loss. If you’re an individual taxpayer and your total taxable income is less than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly), then any long-term capital gains and losses from cryptocurrency trading are deductible on your taxes.

You can also report your cryptocurrency income through self-employment taxes if you’re engaged in activities that constitute self-employment. For example, if you run an online business that sells cryptocurrencies as part of its services, then you may have to pay self-employment

4: How Do You Report Gains Or Losses From Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual tokens that use cryptography to secure their transactions and to control the creation of new units. Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, was created in 2009. Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, nor are they backed by any government or central bank, and their value is based on supply and demand.

If you hold a cryptocurrency as an investment, you may have to report your gains or losses on Form 1040 Schedule D (Form 1040), Profit From Business (Sole Proprietor) or Schedule E (Form 1040), Income From Real Estate Transactions. If you use a cryptocurrency for goods and services, you may have to report your income on Form 1099-MISC. You cannot deduct losses from cryptocurrencies on your tax return.

5: When Can I Claim My Bitcoin Losses Against My Other Income?

When you make a trade or purchase of bitcoin, you may have realized a loss. However, there is no guarantee that the value of bitcoin will increase in the future. This means that even if you have realized a net loss on your bitcoin transactions, you may not be able to claim it against other income. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. The IRS considers gains and losses from sales of assets to be reported on your tax return as long as the sales occur during the tax year in which they are realized (that is, reported on your 2017 tax return). Bitcoin transactions are not considered sales of assets for federal income tax purposes.
  2. Gains and losses from bitcoin transactions may be treated differently based on when they are realized. If you sell bitcoins after they have decreased in value, the loss may be treated as short-term capital gain taxable at ordinary income rates instead of long-term capital gain rates. If you buy bitcoins and then sell them later for a higher price, the gain would likely be treated as long-term capital gain taxable at ordinary income rates instead of short-term capital gain rates because the purchase price was greater than the sale price.


As you can see, there are many complex issues surrounding cryptocurrency taxation. However, with the right knowledge and guidance from a tax professional, you should be able to successfully navigate these tricky waters.

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