checkCircle
Expert verified
7 min read

Crypto Taxes: The Complete Guide (2024)

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about cryptocurrency taxes. From the high-level tax implications to the final tax forms you need to fill out, youʼll learn all about what you need to stay compliant and report your taxes properly.

Crypto Taxes: The Complete Guide (2024)
info
Our Editorial Standards:
Our content is designed to educate the 500,000+ crypto investors who use the CoinLedger platform. Though our articles are for informational purposes only, they are written in accordance with the latest guidelines from tax agencies around the world and reviewed by certified tax professionals before publication. Learn More
Last update:
12/14/23

Key Takeaways 

  • In the United States, cryptocurrency is subject to income and capital gains tax. 
  • Your transactions are traceable — the IRS has issued subpoenas to major exchanges and worked with contractors to track transactions posted on the blockchain. 
  • Because of cryptocurrency’s unique properties, it’s difficult for exchanges to send complete and accurate tax forms to customers. 
  • To accurately report your cryptocurrency taxes, you’ll need to keep records of all of your cryptocurrency transactions for the year. 

Do you pay taxes on cryptocurrency?

Yes. In the United States, cryptocurrency is subject to capital gains tax (when you dispose of cryptocurrency) and income tax (when you earn cryptocurrency).

How is cryptocurrency taxed?

How much is cryptocurrency taxed?

Your personal income tax bracket and the holding period of your crypto assets (short term vs. long term) will determine how much tax (and what % of tax) you pay on your crypto income. This will be different for each investor and can be affected by more traditional sources of income such as stocks, income from your job, and other investments.

How much tax do I pay on cryptocurrency?

If you earned cryptocurrency income or disposed of your crypto after less than 12 months of holding, you’ll pay tax between 10-37%.

Crypto income tax rates

If you dispose of your cryptocurrency after 12 months of holding, you’ll pay tax between 0-20%.

Capital gain tax rates

How do crypto tax brackets work?

Income earned in the U.S. (including crypto income) isn’t subject to a flat tax rate. Rather, taxpayers pay different tax rates on each individual portion of income as they progress through tax brackets. For example, if a taxpayer has $25,000 of ordinary income for the year, they will pay 10% on the first $10,250 and 12% on the next $14,750.

How do crypto tax brackets work?

When do you owe taxes on your crypto?

You incur a taxable event when you earn or dispose of cryptocurrency.

When do you owe capital gains tax on cryptocurrency?

When you dispose of cryptocurrency, you’ll recognize a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it. Examples of disposals include selling your cryptocurrency, trading it for another crypto, and using crypto to buy goods and services.

Example:

Sean buys $3,000 of BTC.

Later, he sells his BTC for $3,300.

Sean incurs $300 of capital gain.

When do you owe income tax on cryptocurrency?

When you earn cryptocurrency, you’ll recognize income based on the fair market value of your crypto at the time of receipt. Examples of income include airdrop rewards, staking rewards, and mining rewards.


Tax-free cryptocurrency transactions

Not every cryptocurrency transaction is subject to tax! You do not trigger a taxable event when you:

  • Hold cryptocurrency
  • Buy cryptocurrency with fiat currency and hold it
  • Transfer crypto from one wallet you own to another wallet you own
  • Use cryptocurrency as collateral for a loan
non-taxable events in crypto

Can the IRS track your cryptocurrency?

irs

It’s often assumed that because cryptocurrency is anonymous, evading taxes is fairly easy. This is not true.

Major exchanges like Coinbase send 1099 forms to the IRS which contain your information and records of your crypto income.

The IRS can use the information that it receives from major exchanges to match ‘anonymous’ wallets to known individuals. In the past, the agency has worked with contractors like Chainalysis to analyze the blockchain and crack down on tax fraud.

In the future, the IRS will have even more information at its disposal to identify tax cheats. Due to the passage of the Build Back Better Act, all exchanges will be required to report 1099 forms with detailed records of capital gains and losses starting in 2026. 

What happens if you don’t report your crypto taxes?

The IRS can enforce a number of penalties for tax fraud, including criminal prosecution, five years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Over the past several years, the IRS has aggressively cracked down on cryptocurrency tax compliance issues. It’s updated the main US income tax form (1040) to include a question that every US taxpayer must answer under penalty of perjury:

At any time during 2023, did you receive, sell, send, exchange or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?

As cryptocurrency adoption accelerates, it’s likely that we’ll see more cryptocurrency tax audits and tax prosecutions.

How do you lower your crypto taxes?

While there’s no way to evade your cryptocurrency taxes, the strategies below can help you legally reduce your crypto taxes!

1. Hold your cryptocurrency

Holding your cryptocurrency for the long-term comes with tax benefits! When you dispose of crypto held for longer than a year, you pay a lower tax rate on your capital gains.

Long-term vs. short-term capital gains tax

2. Tax-loss harvesting

Capital losses from cryptocurrency can offset an unlimited amount of capital gains and up to $3,000 of income for the year. Additional losses can be rolled forward into future tax years.

Learn more about how you can tax loss harvest with cryptocurrency here.

Reduce crypto tax with tax-loss harvesting

3. Hold cryptocurrency in an IRA

If you’re planning on holding your cryptocurrency for the long-haul, a cryptocurrency IRA can be a great option. With a self-directed IRA, you can hold cryptocurrencies and dispose of them on a tax-free/tax-deferred basis once you’re near retirement age.

4. Donate cryptocurrency

Donating cryptocurrency is a great way to make a positive impact and claim tax benefits. Donating cryptocurrency is not subject to capital gains tax, and you claim a tax deduction based on the value of your donation!

When do you need to report your crypto taxes?

For the 2023 tax year, the deadline for American taxpayers is April 15, 2024. The deadline for American expatriates is June 15, 2024.

What if you forgot to report your crypto taxes?

If youʼre like many other crypto investors, thereʼs a strong chance that you werenʼt always aware of the fact that your crypto-related income needed to be reported on your taxes.

If you are in this situation, donʼt worry. You can amend a prior year's tax return to include your crypto-related income with IRS Form 1040X.

Itʼs always better to amend your return in good faith rather than waiting for the IRS to find you. While there is never a way to guarantee that someone won’t be audited after amending their taxes, paying your taxes before the IRS begins an investigation can go a long way to demonstrate that further inquiry is unlikely to find additional reporting errors.

For a detailed guide, check out our blog post on how to amend your tax return to include your crypto.

How to calculate your cryptocurrency capital gains and losses

To calculate your capital gains and losses from each of your crypto sells, trades, or disposals, simply apply the formula:

How to calculate capital gains

What is proceeds?

Proceeds represents how much value you received in exchange for disposing of your crypto-asset. Typically, this will be the fair market value of your assets at the time of disposal minus the cost of relevant fees.

What is cost basis?

Cost basis represents how much money you put into purchasing your property (i.e. how much it cost you). Cost basis includes purchase price plus all other costs associated with purchasing your cryptocurrency (fees, etc).

From our examples above, itʼs easy to see this formula in action. If you buy 1 Litecoin for $250, your cost basis is $250 per Litecoin. If you sell or trade it when itʼs worth $400, your proceeds are $400.

Applying the formula:

$400 (Proceeds) - $250 (Cost Basis) = $150 Gain

Example: How to calculate your tax liability

Say you have the following cryptocurrency transaction history:

transaction history example

With this transaction history, you first trigger a taxable event (and thus a capital gain/loss) when you trade 0.5 BTC for 14.5 ETH. To calculate the gain/loss, you need to subtract your cost basis of 0.5 BTC from your gross proceeds at the time of the trade.

The question here is, what is your cost basis in the 0.5 BTC that you traded for 14.5 ETH? After all, you have purchased 3 different bitcoins all at different prices prior to this trade.

To answer this, you have to determine which bitcoin you are disposing of in this scenario. To determine this, you’ll need to pick an accounting method! 

How to use cost basis methods 

If you’ve bought the same cryptocurrency at multiple price points, you may have trouble determining your cost basis. If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll need to use a cost basis method like FIFO, LIFO, or HIFO. These cost basis methods determine the ‘order’ in which your cryptocurrency gets disposed of. 

Let’s walk through how these cost basis methods work. 

FIFO: FIFO is first-in first-out. The first cryptocurrency you acquired is the first you dispose of. 

LIFO: LIFO is last-in first-out. With this method, the last cryptocurrency you acquired is the first you dispose of. LIFO can help you save money on taxes in a period of rising prices. 

HIFO: HIFO is highest-in first-out. With this method, the highest price cryptocurrency you acquire is the first you dispose of. 

FIFO is considered the default method for most investors. If you choose a ‘specific identification’ method like LIFO or HIFO, you’ll need to specifically identify each individual unit of cryptocurrency. 

You can learn more about how various accounting methods work to calculate your gains and losses for your crypto trades in this blog post: FIFO, LIFO, and HIFO for crypto trading.

Do cryptocurrency exchanges send tax forms?

tax forms

Cryptocurrency exchanges often send 1099 forms to users detailing capital gains and losses to users. This may include Form 1099-B, Form 1099-MISC, and Form 1099-K. In the future, exchanges may send Form 1099-DA — a soon-to-be-released form that the IRS is designing specifically for digital assets.

What is Form 1099-B?

Form 1099-B is a form specifically designed to report capital gains and losses from investment assets. Remember, your Form 1099-B may not be accurate if you transferred your cryptocurrency into or out of an exchange. In this case, your exchange may not have a record of your cost basis/proceeds and will not be able to accurately calculate your capital gains.

What is Form 1099-MISC?

Form 1099-MISC is a form designed to report ‘miscellaneous’ income — such as income from staking and airdrops. Most exchanges will send you this form if you’ve earned more than $600 in miscellaneous income during the tax year.

What is Form 1099-K?

Form 1099-K is a tax form designed for payment processors that was issued by cryptocurrency exchanges in the past. Form 1099-K shows the total transaction volume for transactions — which can make it appear as though the user has a significant unpaid tax liability (even when they have accurately reported their taxes). Many exchanges sent Form 1099-K in the past, but most have stopped sending this tax form due to the confusion they caused for both customers and tax authorities.

What is Form 1099-DA?

Form 1099-DA is a form designed specifically to report your gains and losses from digital assets. While it’s likely that all exchanges will be required to send Form 1099-DA starting in 2026, the form will still have trouble tracking wallet-to-wallet transfers. As a result, you’ll still be required to keep track of your capital gains and losses.

Why reporting your crypto taxes can be difficult

As you can see from the examples above, calculating your capital gains and losses from your crypto trading activity requires keeping track of your cost basis, fair market value, and USD gain or loss every time you dispose of a crypto (trade, sell, spend, etc).

What you need to report crypto taxes

Without this information, you cannot accurately calculate your realized income or capital gains from your trading activity, and you won’t be able to accurately report them on your tax return.

Gathering and maintaining this information is extremely challenging for many cryptocurrency investors as most havenʼt been keeping detailed records of their investing activity. Tracking the cost basis and USD prices for every cryptocurrency across all exchanges, wallets, and protocols at any given time quickly turns into a difficult, if not impossible, spreadsheet exercise.

This is the reason why hundreds of thousands of crypto investors are turning to crypto tax software like CoinLedger to automate their crypto tax reporting. You can sign up for a free account here.

How do you report crypto on your taxes?

If youʼre like most cryptocurrency investors, you likely have only bought, sold, and traded crypto (i.e. capital gains investing activity) via a cryptocurrency exchange. This crypto income is considered capital gains income and is reported as such.

On the other hand, if you earned cryptocurrency—whether that's from a job, mining, staking or interest rewards—that earned income is generally treated as ordinary income and is reported as such.

We dive into the reporting for each of these income types below.

How to report crypto capital gains

Your capital gains and losses from your crypto trades get reported on IRS Form 8949.

Form 8949 is the tax form that is used to report the sales and disposals of capital assets, including cryptocurrency. Other capital assets include stocks and bonds.

To fill out Form 8949, list all of your cryptocurrency trades, sells, and disposals into the relevant column (pictured below) along with the date you acquired the crypto, the date your crypto was sold or traded, your gross proceeds, your cost basis, and your gain or loss for the trade.

Form 8949 tax example

Once you have each trade listed, total them up and fill in your net capital gain or loss for the year at the bottom.

For a detailed walkthrough of Form 8949, check out this blog post: How To Report Cryptocurrency to the IRS.

How to report crypto income tax

Unfortunately, ordinary income doesn't fall nicely onto one tax form as we saw with capital gains and Form 8949.

The ordinary income you receive from mining, staking, interest accounts, or work compensation gets reported on different tax forms, depending on your specific situation.

Schedule 1 - If you earned crypto from airdrops, forks, or other crypto hobby income, it’s generally reported on Schedule 1 as other income. (Not subject to self-employment tax.) In most cases, this is the form you’ll use to report cryptocurrency income. 

Schedule C - If you earned crypto while operating a business, like receiving payments for contract work, running a cryptocurrency mining operation, or operating a node, this is often treated as self-employment income and is reported on Schedule C. Schedule C also allows you to deduct business expenses such as electricity used for mining. 

Schedule B - If you earned staking income or interest rewards from lending out your crypto, it’s generally reported on Schedule B.

To make things easier for investors, CoinLedger generates a complete income report that is included with your completed crypto tax reports. This report details the US Dollar value of all of your cryptocurrency income events that you received throughout the year: mining, staking, airdrops, and more. This income report can be used to complete your relevant ordinary income tax forms like Schedule 1, Schedule B, and Schedule C.

How is buying cryptocurrency taxed?

Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency is tax-free.

taxes

However, you should keep detailed records of your cryptocurrency purchases for tax purposes. If you dispose of your cryptocurrency in the future, you’ll need to know your original cost for acquiring your crypto to calculate your total capital gain.

Do I pay tax for holding cryptocurrency?

There’s no tax for simply holding cryptocurrency. You won’t be charged until you dispose of your existing cryptocurrency or earn new cryptocurrency.

How is transferring crypto between different wallets taxed?

Transferring crypto between wallets that you own is tax-free. However, you may pay taxes on fees paid to transfer your crypto. 

You should keep a detailed record of your cryptocurrency transfers so that you can calculate your capital gains and losses in a disposal event.

How is selling cryptocurrency taxed?

Selling cryptocurrency is a disposal event subject to capital gains tax. You’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto changed since you originally received it.

Example:

Jordan buys BTC for $1,000.

Later, he sells BTC for $1,500.

Jordan incurs $500 of capital gain ($1,500 - $1,000).

Do you pay taxes when spending crypto?

When you spend cryptocurrency to purchase goods and services, you’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it.

How are crypto-to-crypto trades taxed?

Trading your crypto for another cryptocurrency is considered a disposal event subject to capital gains tax. You’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of the crypto you traded away has changed since you originally received it.

Example:

Jamie buys $1,000 of BTC.

The price of Jamie’s BTC rises to $1,200.

Jamie trades his BTC for ETH.

Jamie incurs $200 of capital gain ($1,200-$1,000).

How are crypto losses taxed?

Cryptocurrency losses can be used to offset 100% of your gains from cryptocurrency, stocks, and other assets and up to $3,000 of income for the year. Any additional losses can be rolled forward into future tax years.

Example:

Rachel buys $2,000 of SOL.

The price of Rachel’s SOL drops to $1,500.

Rachel sells her SOL.

Rachel has a capital loss of $500, which she can use to offset income!

How are crypto fees taxed?

Exchange fees and blockchain gas fees related to acquiring and disposing of your crypto can reduce your capital gains.

Fees related to acquiring your crypto can be added to your cost basis.

Meanwhile, fees related to disposing of your crypto can be subtracted from your gross proceeds.

Example:

Scott buys $300 of BTC and pays $10 of fees.

Scott’s cost basis in BTC is $310.

Later, Scott sells his BTC for $400.

Scott’s incurs a capital gain of $90 ($400 - $310).

How is mining cryptocurrency taxed?

Crypto mining taxes

Cryptocurrency mining rewards are considered income based on the fair market value of your crypto at the time of receipt. When you dispose of your rewards, you’ll pay capital gains tax based on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it.

If you’re mining cryptocurrency as a business, you can deduct relevant expenses such as the depreciation of your equipment and electricity.

If you’re mining cryptocurrency as a hobby, you are not allowed to deduct relevant expenses.

You can read more in our compete guide on how crypto mining is taxed.

How is staking cryptocurrency taxed?

Cryptocurrency staking rewards are considered income based on the fair market value of your crypto at the time of receipt.

When you dispose of your rewards, you’ll pay capital gains tax based on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it.

Example:

Sara earns $200 of ETH from staking.

The price of her ETH rises to $250.

Sara sells her ETH.

Sara recognizes $200 of income and $50 of capital gain.

How are airdrops taxed?

Cryptocurrency received from an airdrop is taxed as income. This means that you are liable for income taxes on the USD value of the claimed airdrop.

When you dispose of airdrop rewards, you’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it.

For more information, check out our guide to airdrop taxes.

How are hard forks taxed?

In a cryptocurrency hard fork, a blockchain splits into two and an entirely new cryptocurrency is created. If you receive units of this new cryptocurrency, you’ll recognize income based on the fair market value of your coins at the time of receipt.

Crypto hard fork taxes

If you dispose of your forked cryptocurrency in the future, you’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how its price has changed since you originally received it.

How are cryptocurrency soft forks taxed?

Sometimes, a cryptocurrency will need to rebrand or change its architecture for increased functionality. When this happens, the conversion from the old version of the token to the new version of the token is not a taxable event. Similar to a stock split or a company changing tickers on the stock market, the underlying cost basis will carry through into the new asset without triggering a taxable event.

Generally, if you haven’t received any new cryptocurrency as a result of a fork, there is no taxable event.

How is crypto interest taxed?

Currently, platforms like Gemini offer users interest rewards for holding select cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency interest is considered personal income and is taxed accordingly.

When you dispose of cryptocurrency interest rewards, you’ll recognize a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto changed since you originally received it. 

How are cryptocurrency loans taxed?

Today, investors can receive loans using cryptocurrency as collateral from centralized exchanges and decentralized protocols.

Generally, receiving a loan is not considered a taxable event.

However, some DeFi loan protocols use crypto-to-crypto swaps to facilitate loans. It’s possible that these swaps will be considered disposals subject to capital gains tax.

For more information, check out our guide to how cryptocurrency loans are taxed.

How is margin and futures trading taxed?

Cryptocurrency exchanges like BitMex and Binance.com have popularized the use of margin and futures trading. The IRS has not yet set forth explicit guidance on how these cryptocurrency transactions should be handled from a tax perspective, but it’s likely that any profits or losses from margin trading will be treated as capital gains and losses.

For more information, check out our guide to cryptocurrency margin trading taxes.

How are crypto gifts taxed?

Crypto gifts tax

If you are feeling generous, you can send a cryptocurrency gift to a friend or family member without having to worry about paying additional taxes.

Generally, cryptocurrency gifts are tax-free for all but the most generous gift-givers. Gift taxes are not imposed until the gift-giver has gifted away over $12.92 million dollars in their lifetime. Even then, the gift recipient will never have to pay taxes for merely receiving the gift.

However, if you send a gift or gifts with a fair market value above $17,000 to any individual in a year, you will need to file a gift tax return in addition to your traditional tax returns. This form is for informational purposes and does not mean you will be required to pay taxes on your gift.

For more information, check out our guide to crypto gift taxes.

How are crypto donations taxed?

Crypto donations tax

Crypto donations to registered charities come with multiple tax benefits! Not only are they not considered a taxable disposal of your crypto, you can also treat your donation as a tax deduction!

If you are claiming a deduction larger than $500, you will need to report this on Form 8283.

The amount of your donation that is tax-deductible depends on how long you have held the assets:

  • for crypto held for less than a year, you can deduct whichever is lower: the cryptocurrencyʼs fair market value at the time of your donation or your cost basis
  • for crypto held for less than a year, you can deduct whichever is lower: the cryptocurrencyʼs fair market value at the time of your donation or your cost basis for that cryptocurrency

For more information, check out our guide to how cryptocurrency donations are taxed.

How are stablecoins taxed?

Despite being explicitly designed for transactions, stablecoins are taxed the same as other cryptocurrencies. You’ll incur a capital gain or loss when you dispose of your stablecoin (though it’s likely that your capital gain will be close to 0).

For more information, check out our guide to stablecoin taxes.

How is lost and stolen cryptocurrency taxed?

Lost, stolen, and hacked cryptocurrency is no longer tax-deductible after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. This includes:

  • Coins lost due to exchange hacks
  • Coins due to wallets being hacked
  • Coins lost from sending crypto to an incorrect address
  • Other negligent forms of crypto losses

For more information, check out our guide to lost, stolen, and hacked crypto taxes.

How are exchange bankruptcies taxed?

In 2022, exchanges like Voyager and Celsius went bankrupt, causing millions of investors to lose access to their cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency that is permanently lost after an exchange bankruptcy likely can be treated as an investment loss.

For more information, check out our guide to how exchange bankruptcies are taxed.

How do DeFi taxes work?

Cryptocurrency lending platforms and other DeFi services like Uniswap, Maker, and Compound have exploded in popularity in the past few years and brought with them new ways to invest in cryptocurrency.

It’s important to remember that the same tax rules that apply to other cryptocurrency transactions apply to DeFi. That means:

  1. Profits from cryptocurrency disposals — such as crypto-to-crypto trades — are taxed as capital gains
  2. Earned cryptocurrency — such as DeFi staking rewards — are taxed as income

It’s important to remember that the DeFi space is constantly innovating. As a result, there are often novel investment arrangements that do not fit squarely into existing tax frameworks.

The full tax implications associated with transactions common to the DeFi landscape are outside of the scope of this piece; however, we discuss them thoroughly in our DeFi Crypto Tax Guide.

How is adding and removing liquidity taxed?

When you deposit your cryptocurrency in a decentralized liquidity pool, you’ll often receive LP tokens that represent your position.

At this time, the IRS has not given explicit guidance on how depositing and withdrawing liquidity is taxed. You can take a conservative or aggressive approach depending on your risk appetite.

Conservative approach: Treat withdrawing and depositing liquidity as crypto-to-crypto trades subject to capital gains tax. You’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it.

Aggressive approach: Treat withdrawing and depositing liquidity as non-taxable.

In general, it’s recommended that you take the conservative approach. However, how to report your taxes may vary depending on the specific mechanisms of your DeFi protocol. You should reach out to a crypto tax professional if you’re unsure how to report your liquidity pool transactions.

How do NFT taxes work?

From a tax perspective, NFTs are treated as property, similar to cryptocurrencies.

When you buy an NFT with cryptocurrency, this is considered a taxable disposal of your crypto. You’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your crypto has changed since you originally received it.

When you dispose of an NFT, you’ll incur a capital gain or loss depending on how the price of your NFT has changed since you originally received it.

NFT capital loss example

If you’re a creator who mints NFTs, you’ll recognize income based on the revenue you receive from primary and secondary NFT sales.

The IRS has said that NFTs may be subject to the 28% collectible tax in certain circumstances. It’s possible that ‘profile picture’ and ‘art’ NFTs will be considered collectibles and taxed accordingly. 

For more information, check out our Complete NFT Tax Guide.

How are DAOs taxed?

So far, the IRS hasn’t provided any guidance on how Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are taxed. It’s likely that they’ll be considered ‘flow-through entities’. This means that while the DAO itself won’t pay taxes, individuals recognize income based on their share of the organization’s profits.

For more information, check out our guide to DAO taxes.

How do other countries handle crypto taxes?

In recent years, governments all over the world have been creating tax policies for the cryptocurrency ecosystem. For more detailed information, check out our guides on various countries below:

Why crypto exchanges can't provide accurate tax forms

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and others often do not have the ability to provide their users with accurate capital gains and losses tax reports. This is not a fault of the exchanges themselves, it is simply a product of the unique characteristics of cryptocurrencies—namely their transferability.

Because users are constantly transferring crypto into and out of exchanges, the exchange has no way of knowing how, when, where, or at what cost basis you originally acquired your cryptocurrencies. The exchange only sees when crypto appears in your wallet and what the USD value was at the time of the deposit.

The second you transfer crypto into or out of an exchange, that exchange loses the ability to give you an accurate report detailing the cost basis of your cryptocurrencies, one of the mandatory components for tax reporting.

Crypto wallet transfers tax

As you can see pictured below, Coinbase themselves explained to their users how their generated tax reports wonʼt be accurate if any of them took assets out of or added assets into their Coinbase accounts from a different exchange or wallet. This affects over two-thirds of Coinbase users, which amounts to millions of people who cannot rely on Coinbase’s calculations to prepare their tax forms.

You can read more about the “crypto tax problem” in our blog post: Why Exchanges Canʼt Report Crypto Taxes.

Coinbase tax accuracy issues

How to track cryptocurrency for tax purposes

The solution to the crypto tax problem hinges on aggregating all of your cryptocurrency transaction data that makes up your buys, sells, trades, airdrops, forks, mined coins, exchanges, swaps, and received cryptocurrencies into one place. Once this is done, you’ll be able to generate an accurate tax report containing all of your transaction data.

You can aggregate all of your transaction history by hand by pulling together your transactions from each of your exchanges and wallets. Of course, this can take a lot of time and energy. You can avoid the manual work and automate this process with crypto tax software.

Automatically import transactions from your exchange

How cryptocurrency tax software can help

Cryptocurrency tax software like CoinLedger is built to automate the entire crypto tax reporting process. By integrating directly with leading exchanges, wallets, blockchains, and DeFi protocols, the CoinLedger engine can auto-generate all of your necessary tax reports based on your historical data. You can test out how it works by creating an account for free.

How it works

1. Select each of the cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets, and platforms youʼve used throughout the years.

Connect your exchanges and wallets to CoinLedger

2. Import your historical transactions by connecting your accounts via API or uploading the CSV transaction history report exported by your exchanges.

CoinLedger crypto transactions import

3. Finally, generate your complete crypto tax reports with the click of a button. 

CoinLedger tax report

Once youʼve generated your tax reports, you can send them to your tax professional or import them directly into your preferred tax filing software like TurboTax or TaxAct.

You can test out the software yourself by creating a free account here.

How to stay up-to-date on crypto tax news

The entire cryptocurrency ecosystem is still in its infancy. As the industry evolves, further rules and regulations will inevitably move forward.

Our team tracks every update within the world of cryptocurrency regulation, and we will continue to update this blog post with the most pertinent information as it is released. You can also follow us on Twitter for real-time updates and tax savings strategies.

“Our mission is to make cryptocurrency more accessible for everyone. If we can make tax reporting seamless, the entire ecosystem will benefit.”
quote
Calculate Your Crypto Taxes In Minutes
Generate a free preview report
guide-banner guide-banner-mobile Generate

Frequently asked questions

Let’s cap things off by answering some frequently asked questions about cryptocurrency taxes.

  • Do I pay taxes on my cryptocurrency?
    MinuPlus
  • When do you pay taxes on cryptocurrency?
    MinuPlus
  • Do I have to pay taxes on Bitcoin if I don’t cash out?
    MinuPlus
  • What happens if I don’t report cryptocurrency on my taxes?
    MinuPlus
  • How do I report cryptocurrency on my taxes?
    MinuPlus
  • How do I calculate my crypto profits?
    MinuPlus
  • Do you have to report crypto under $600?
    MinuPlus

How we reviewed this article

Edited By
Sources

All CoinLedger articles go through a rigorous review process before publication. Learn more about the CoinLedger Editorial Process.

CoinLedger has strict sourcing guidelines for our content. Our content is based on direct interviews with tax experts, guidance from tax agencies, and articles from reputable news outlets.

...
KNOWLEDGE BASE

Demystify Crypto Taxes

The Ultimate Crypto Tax Guide (2024)

This guide breaks down everything you need to know about cryptocurrency taxes, from the high level tax implications to the actual crypto tax forms you need to fill out.

Crypto taxes overview
howToHandleCryptocurency
Crypto Tax Rates 2024: Complete Breakdown

Here’s how much tax you'll be paying on your income from Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

Crypto tax rates
howToReportCryyptoLosses
How Crypto Losses Can Reduce Your Taxes

Crypto and bitcoin losses need to be reported on your taxes. However, they can also save you money.

How crypto losses lower your taxes
ellipseellipsecalculator

Calculate Your Crypto Taxes

  • Check
    No credit card needed
  • Check
    Instant tax forms
  • Check
    No obligations
Get Started For Free
percent
ellipseellipse