Tax Planning For Cryptocurrency U.S. Investors
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Your crypto holdings need a tax strategy to reduce your tax bill and file your reports on time to avoid IRS penalties.

Tax Planning

General tax principles that apply to property transactions apply to transactions using virtual currency. Among other things, this means that: Wages paid to employees using virtual currency are taxable to the employee, must be reported by an employer on a Form W-2, and are subject to federal income tax withholding and payroll taxes. Payments using virtual currency made to independent contractors and other service providers are taxable and self-employment tax rules generally apply. Normally, payers must issue Form 1099. The character of gain or loss from the sale or exchange of virtual currency depends on whether the virtual currency is a capital asset in the hands of the taxpayer. A payment made using a virtual currency is subject to information reporting to the same extent as any other payment made in property.

Reporting Obligations

Now here the important things you need to remember when you are reporting your cryptocurrencies on your tax return.

If you hold cryptocurrencies but haven’t sold any, you didn’t realize any gain.
If you sold cryptocurrencies and realized gains or registered losses, it is your responsibility to report this to the IRS on the relevant form (1099-K in most cases, but contact your CPA or tax advisor to confirm). Coinbase won’t send you the form unless you’ve had $20,000 in gains and at least 200 transactions.

Tax Penalties

Cryptocurrencies are regarded as property for tax purposes so you need to provide details about:

The date you bought the crypto
The price at which you bought the crypto
The date you sold your cryptocurrency
The price at which you sold the crypto
Failure to report transactions will be penalized. The IRS may discover what you tried to hide later and you will still have to pay taxes with interest and penalties on top. If they suspect that you have deliberately omitted the crypto transactions from your report you could be prosecuted with criminal charges for tax evasion. This means you could spend up to 5 years in prison and pay up to $250,000 penalty.
Keep good records of all of your crypto transactions. This will help you prepare your next tax return much more easily.

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