Crypto Taxes
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How to Fill Out Form 8949 for Cryptocurrency in 6 Steps

How to Fill Out Form 8949 for Cryptocurrency in 6 Steps

Not sure how to report your cryptocurrency on Form 8949? 

Right now, cryptocurrency investors are required to report all disposals on Form 8949. Unfortunately, filling out the form can take serious time and effort — especially if you’ve used multiple wallets and exchanges during the tax year. 

In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about Form 8949 before you get started filing your taxes. We’ll also break down step-by-step instructions on how to report your cryptocurrency disposals on your tax return. 

How is cryptocurrency taxed? 

Before we discuss the specifics of Form 8949, let’s review the basics of cryptocurrency taxes. 

Cryptocurrency is considered property and is subject to capital gains and income tax. 

Capital gains tax: If you dispose of cryptocurrency, you’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it. 

Income tax: If you earn cryptocurrency, you’ll recognize income based on the fair market value of your crypto at the time it was received. 

For more information, check out our complete guide to how cryptocurrency is taxed

What tax form should I use to report cryptocurrency? 

Cryptocurrency disposals are reported on Form 8949. Your net capital gain or loss should then be reported on Schedule D. 

Cryptocurrency income can be reported on Schedule 1 or Schedule C depending on the specifics of your situation. 

For more information, check out our complete guide to reporting crypto on your taxes

Do I need to fill out Form 8949 if I received a 1099 form? 

If you’ve traded cryptocurrency in the past year, you may receive Form 1099 from one or more cryptocurrency exchanges. 

At this time, there is no explicit guidance on which 1099 forms cryptocurrency exchanges are required to provide to their users. As a result, different exchanges issue different versions of 1099 forms, and some do not issue tax forms at all. 

It’s important to know that if you had taxable cryptocurrency transactions, you will need to fill out Form 8949 whether or not you received a 1099 form.

In addition, if you’ve transferred cryptocurrency into or out of an exchange, Form 1099 will likely have incomplete or incorrect information about your cost basis and/or proceeds. It’s wise to double-check these forms and not completely rely on their accuracy for your tax reporting. 

Instructions on how to fill out Form 8949 

Here’s a 6-step process on how to report your cryptocurrency disposals on Form 8949. 

Step 1. Take into account all of your disposal events 

The first step to filling out your Form 8949 is to take account of every one of your cryptocurrency disposals during the tax year. 

Remember, each one of your disposals across your wallets and exchanges need to be reported on Form 8949. Examples of disposals include selling your cryptocurrency, trading it for another cryptocurrency, or using cryptocurrency to purchase goods or services. 

Step 2. Collect information on your cryptocurrency disposals 

To report your cryptocurrency disposals on Form 8949, you’ll need the following information: 

  • A description of the property you sold (ex. 1.5 BTC) 
  • The date you originally acquired the property 
  • The date you sold or disposed of the property 
  • Proceeds from the sale (typically the fair market value at time of disposal minus any related fees) 
  • Your cost basis for purchasing the property 
  • Your gain or loss 

If you have trouble tracking this information, cryptocurrency tax software like CoinLedger can help. The platform automatically integrates with platforms like Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken, allowing you to determine the cost basis and proceeds for all of your cryptocurrency disposals in minutes. 

Step 3. Divide your transactions into short-term and long-term disposals 

Form 8949 is divided into two sections: short-term and long-term. You should take note of which of your disposals fall into which category. 

If you dispose of your assets after holding them for less than 12 months, they should be reported on the short-term section. If you dispose of your assets after holding them for more than 12 months, they should be reported on the long-term section. 

Long-term disposals are subject to more favorable tax rates. 

Long term capital gains

Step 4. Select the correct option 

In both the short-term and long-term sections, you’ll need to select one of three checkboxes. Here are the options in Part I. 

(a) Short-term transactions reported on Form(s) 1099-B showing basis was reported to the IRS

(b) Short-term transactions reported on Form(s) 1099-B showing basis wasn’t reported to the IRS

(c) Short-term transactions not reported to you on Form 1099-B

It’s most likely that you’ll select box C. At this time, most cryptocurrency exchanges do not send Form 1099-B to customers. However, if you’ve received Form 1099-B from an exchange, you’ll need to select box A or box B. 

Step 5. Report your disposals on Form 8949 

Now, you can get started recording your cryptocurrency disposals on Form 8949. 

To better understand how to fill out the form, let’s take a look at a sample transaction history. 

Cryptocurrency capital gains tax example

Here’s how Ben’s transactions would be reported on Form 8949. 

Cryptocurrency Form 8949 filled out example

Step 6. Report your net gain or loss on Schedule D 

Once you’ve finished reporting your disposals on Form 8949, you are required to report your net short-term and long-term capital gains/losses on Schedule D. 

Schedule D

If you have any capital losses from prior years that you wish to carry forward, you can report them here. 

How can I add my cryptocurrency Form 8949 to TurboTax? 

If you’re using TurboTax or TaxAct to file your tax return, CoinLedger can help you generate a cryptocurrency capital gains report that can be imported into either platform.

For more information, read our guides to TurboTax and TaxAct imports. 

What should I do if I have too many transactions on Form 8949? 

In some cases, platforms like TurboTax limit the number of transactions you can report on Form 8949. 

The IRS requires that each disposal transaction is reported on a line item of Form 8949. All taxpayers have the option to report consolidated total amounts on Form 8949, and provide an attached report with all the detail that is required for Form 8949.

CoinLedger can help you generate a consolidated capital gains report you can import into your tax platform of choice. You can then mail in a detailed record of your cryptocurrency disposals to the IRS. 

For more information, read our guide on how to mail in Form 8949

Get started with CoinLedger 

Want to generate comprehensive capital gains and income tax reports in minutes? CoinLedger can help. 

More than 300,000 investors around the world use CoinLedger to simplify the tax reporting process. With integrations to the world’s biggest exchanges, the platform can save you hours of effort during tax season.

Get started with a free preview report today

Frequently asked questions 

Let’s summarize what we’ve discussed by answering a few frequently asked questions about Form 8949. 

Is cryptocurrency reported to the IRS? 

Yes. Cryptocurrency is considered property by the IRS and can be subject to capital gains and ordinary income tax. 

How do I report cryptocurrency on Form 8949?

All cryptocurrency disposals need to be reported on Form 8949. You are required to include cost basis, gross proceeds, and the date of receipt and disposal for each crypto-asset. 

Is crypto reported on Schedule D? 

Your net capital gain or loss from all sources (including cryptocurrency) should be included on Schedule D. 

How much tax do I pay on Form 8949 transactions? 

The tax rate you pay on cryptocurrency disposals varies depending on several factors, including your income bracket and how long you held your crypto. 


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