5 Cryptocurrency Tax Considerations You Need to Know
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Cryptocurrency as Property for Tax Purposes
  2. Tax Implications of Mining Cryptocurrency
  3. How to Track Your Cryptocurrency Transactions
  4. What to Do with Gifts and Tips in Cryptocurrency
  5. How to Handle Cryptocurrency Losses and Thefts

When it comes to cryptocurrency, one thing is clear: it's not just about buying low and selling high. There are important considerations to take into account, especially when it comes to taxes. In this blog, we'll explore five cryptocurrency tax considerations that you need to know. So, whether you're a seasoned crypto investor or just getting started, this guide is for you.

Cryptocurrency as Property for Tax Purposes

One of the most important cryptocurrency tax considerations is understanding that the IRS views cryptocurrency as property. This may seem like a minor detail, but it has significant implications for how your crypto transactions are taxed.

How Cryptocurrency is Viewed by the IRS

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), cryptocurrency is not treated as currency that could generate ordinary income or loss. Instead, it's treated much like a house or a stock. This means that every time you use cryptocurrency - whether you're buying a cup of coffee or trading it for other cryptocurrencies - it's considered a taxable event.

Implications of Property Status

Now, you might be wondering: "What does it mean for me if cryptocurrency is considered property?" Here's a simple breakdown:

  • Taxable events: Every sale or exchange of cryptocurrency is a taxable event. This means that if you bought Bitcoin at $10,000 and used it to buy a car when it was worth $20,000, you would owe taxes on the $10,000 gain.
  • Capital gains: If you hold onto your cryptocurrency for more than a year before selling or using it, you'll pay long-term capital gains taxes. If you sell or use it within a year, you'll pay short-term capital gains taxes.
  • Record keeping: Because every transaction is a taxable event, it's important to keep detailed records of your cryptocurrency transactions. This can help you accurately calculate your gains and losses come tax time.

Understanding the property status of cryptocurrency is a key part of managing your cryptocurrency tax considerations. As you navigate the world of cryptocurrency, keep these tax implications in mind.

Tax Implications of Mining Cryptocurrency

Mining cryptocurrency, whether as a hobby or a business, brings its own set of tax considerations. You need to understand these to navigate the crypto landscape effectively.

Income from Mining

According to IRS guidelines, income from mining is treated as taxable income. This means the value of the cryptocurrency you mine should be reported as income on the date you receive it. If you mine cryptocurrency as part of a business, you may also be subject to self-employment taxes.

  • Taxable income: The fair market value of the mined cryptocurrency on the day it was received is considered taxable income. For instance, if you mine 1 Bitcoin when it's worth $10,000, you have to report $10,000 as income.
  • Self-employment taxes: If your mining operation qualifies as a business, you might also be subject to self-employment taxes, which include Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Expenses from Mining

On the flip side, the costs associated with mining cryptocurrency can often be deducted. These expenses can include things like electricity, mining equipment, and even the space you use to mine.

  • Deductions: If you're mining as a business, you can often deduct related expenses. These can include direct costs like electricity and hardware, as well as indirect costs such as rent or home office expenses.
  • Record keeping: Just like with cryptocurrency transactions, keeping detailed records of your mining expenses is essential. These records can help you accurately calculate your taxable income and claim deductions.

Remember, taxes on mined cryptocurrency can be complex. When in doubt, consult with a tax professional who is familiar with cryptocurrency tax considerations to ensure you're staying on the right side of the law.

How to Track Your Cryptocurrency Transactions

One of the key aspects of managing cryptocurrency tax considerations is effectively tracking your transactions. This will enable you to have a clear picture of your gains, losses, and the taxes you owe.

The Importance of Tracking

When it comes to cryptocurrency, every transaction counts. This includes buying, selling, exchanging, or even using your crypto to purchase goods or services. Keeping a record of these transactions is a must if you want to stay on top of your tax obligations.

  • Why track: Tracking your transactions allows you to calculate your gains and losses accurately. This is important because the IRS requires you to report all of your cryptocurrency transactions, not just the ones that result in gains.
  • Record keeping: Careful record keeping is the best way to track your transactions. You should record the date of each transaction, the amount and type of cryptocurrency involved, and its fair market value in U.S. dollars at the time of the transaction.

Tools to Aid Tracking

Fortunately, you don't have to do all of this manually. There are several tools and software solutions available that can help automate the process of tracking your cryptocurrency transactions.

  • Software solutions: Programs like Cointracker and Cryptotrader.Tax can automatically sync with your crypto wallets and exchanges, tracking your transactions and calculating your gains and losses for you.
  • Financial advisers: If you're not comfortable using software, or if you have a large number of transactions to track, it may be worth it to hire a financial adviser who specializes in cryptocurrency.

Remember, the more accurate and thorough your transaction tracking is, the easier it will be for you to handle your cryptocurrency tax considerations.

What to Do with Gifts and Tips in Cryptocurrency

Another aspect of cryptocurrency tax considerations that often gets overlooked is how to handle gifts and tips. Let's take a look at how you should approach this.

Handling Gifts in Cryptocurrency

When you receive a gift in cryptocurrency, the good news is that it's not immediately taxable. However, when you decide to sell, trade, or use it, that's a different story.

  • At receipt: If someone gives you a Bitcoin as a gift, for example, you don't owe taxes at that moment. This is because IRS treats gifts as non-taxable events.
  • At disposal: However, when you sell or use that Bitcoin, you will have to calculate your gain or loss based on the price of Bitcoin when it was gifted to you. This price becomes your basis for tax purposes.

Dealing with Cryptocurrency Tips

Receiving tips in cryptocurrency is becoming more common, especially in online communities. The IRS views these tips as income, and they are therefore taxable.

  • Reporting tips: Like any other income, you need to report the fair market value of the cryptocurrency tips you receive. This should be calculated in U.S. dollars on the date you received the tip.
  • Tips vs. Gifts: It's important to differentiate between tips and gifts in cryptocurrency. While gifts are not taxable until you dispose of them, tips are taxable as soon as you receive them.

So, whether it's a holiday gift from a generous friend or a tip for a job well done, understanding how to handle gifts and tips in cryptocurrency will help you navigate your cryptocurrency tax considerations.

How to Handle Cryptocurrency Losses and Thefts

Let's face it, the world of cryptocurrency can be a bit like the wild west. With high rewards often come high risks, including the unfortunate reality of potential losses and thefts. What does it mean for your cryptocurrency tax considerations? Let's dig in.

Coping with Cryptocurrency Losses

Just like with traditional investments, you may suffer losses when the market value of your cryptocurrency goes down. If you sell your cryptocurrency for less than you paid for it, you have what is known as a capital loss.

  • Claiming losses: The IRS allows you to deduct capital losses on your taxes. The loss can offset capital gains from other investments, and up to $3,000 of other income.
  • Carryover losses: If your losses exceed your gains in a certain year, you can carry over the loss to future years until it's fully deducted.

Dealing with Cryptocurrency Thefts

In the unfortunate event that your cryptocurrency is stolen, you might be wondering if you can claim a theft loss on your taxes. The IRS has issued specific guidelines on this.

  • Theft losses: Prior to 2018, you could deduct theft losses as a personal casualty loss. However, due to changes in the tax code, this is no longer possible.
  • Recovery is key: If you recover your stolen cryptocurrency in a later year, you might have to include it in income at its fair market value at the time it's recovered.

Remember, no one likes to think about losses or thefts, but understanding how they impact your cryptocurrency tax considerations can help you be prepared and make the best decisions possible.

If you found this blog post on cryptocurrency tax considerations helpful, you might be interested in learning more about the digital economy. Check out the workshop 'Crypto For Creators, Part 1: The Backbone Of The Digital Economy' by Tom Glendinning. This workshop will provide you with a deeper understanding of cryptocurrencies and their role in the creative industry, helping you make informed decisions in your creative pursuits.