Taxes, everything Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum stand against. A centralized tax on a deregulated currency sounds oxymoronic to the ears. Despite this, I get asked about the new taxes the United States Internal Revenue Service recently announced and can understand the confusion. The truth is that tax and cryptocurrency are nothing new and the IRS has had a Frequently Asked Questions about cryptocurrency since 2014. Since these are relatively new laws, it is much less complicated than to backtrack and find what rules are current.
The Federal government recognizes virtual currency as property and is treated as such. As far your own Bitcoin spending and crypto-based taxable responsibilities are concerned, the IRS expects you to treat it as any other domestic property exchanged for goods or services, and or, sold for loss or profit. Before you get ready to file your tax returns as normal, there are some critical distinctions that the IRS has made about reporting investment income activity the selling of virtual currency in regards to this 2014 IRS Notice.
In general, the sale or exchange of convertible virtual currency, or the use of convertible virtual currency to pay for goods or services in a real-world economy transaction, has tax consequences that may result in a tax liability. This notice addresses only the U.S. federal tax consequences of transactions in, or transactions that use, convertible virtual currency, and the term “virtual currency” as used in Section 4 refers only to convertible virtual currency. No inference should be drawn with respect to virtual currencies not described in this notice.
The IRS expects you to keep accurate investing records. So if you are one of the thousands of people who joined the cryptocurrency community within the past three years, Uncle Sam expects you to amend your previous year’s return for the last three years, or from two years to the date of final payment on that year’s tax liability. To do this, just file Form 1040X, Amended Tax Return, along with the corrected or additional documents you did not originally file with your return. If you think that this may be a big bother over nothing, maybe I should remind you of this.
Most people are finally asking questions about virtual currency tax liabilities because of the profits made from the recent swelling of Bitcoin and Ethereuem market caps. The Federal Government knows that these markets are stabilizing at these historic highs, giving early investors ample opportunity to convert those extremely high returns to U.S. Dollars. As Fortune reported, Through an Investigation and federal summons and ugly lawsuits with the exchange Coinbase, the IRS found out that less 1,000 people were actually following through on their crypto-tax responsibilities.
IRS agent David Utzke reveals additional information about how the agency is conducting the investigation. Specifically, Utzke explains he ran a computer analysis against the IRS’s repository of hundreds of millions of tax records, and found fewer than a thousand people filed a Form 8949 to account for a “property description likely related to bitcoin.
Fortune.com – Jeff John Roberts -” Only 802 People Told the IRS About Bitcoin”
Regardless of the outcome of the IRS’s probe into Coinbase or other cryptocurrency exchanges, the intent of government seems to point at more transparency in cryptocurrency transactions as well as building cases against tax evaders and money launderers. In one sense, these actions may lead to a more trusted outlook on bitcoin from tradition investors as the eventual death of the historic bull market looms, but that remains to be seen. While we wait for the outcome of the battle for centralized control over deregulated markets, the best we can do is keep accurate records and stayed informed. Coinbase offers its users a tool to help comply with IRS reporting regulations by exporting all transactions. The exhange also goes so far to give taxpayers the link to to the above-sourced notice from 2014, in this article. So one can logicly assume that these laws are current.
It breaks down to this. If you pay someone in virtual currency or receive income based on a convertible virtual currency
, meaning trades like a currency on an exchange like, Coinbase, Kraken, etc. you should report the item accordingly as a capital gain or loss on a form Schedule D
, or in the case of income from non-employee compensation, Forms and Associated Taxes for Independent Contractors
. Many Independent and Third-Party Contractors are adapting virtual currencies to either pay for labor or allow customers to tip for services or to pay for in-app purchases. I feel these, tax laws will be necessary to know for both small business owners and freelance contract labor as I am of the personal opinion that tradition brick and mortar retailers will have to adopt these virtual currencies to curve the overall decline in physical sales lost to online transactions.
2016 Filing Status And Income
As with most investment income, profits from selling or converting virtual currency or stock held less than a year are considered short-term and typically taxed at the taxpayer’s Ordinary Tax Rate *see above. In the Case of Long-Term holdings, or more than one-year, The levy on the sell-for-profit of cryptocurrency is 10% to 15%, unless the filer is classified a High-Income Taxpayer, then the tax becomes 25% to 28%
Please remember that this is not investment or tax advice. You should check with your own tax professional in regards to converting between other virtual currencies or the Treasury Department and IRS, who understand that taxpayers may have questions. The appropriate contact information for an IRS opinion on this topic is, Notice.Comments@irscounsel.treas.gov. Taxpayers should include “Notice 2014-21” in the subject line. OR alternatively:
Internal Revenue Service Attn: CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2014-21)
Room 5203 P.O. Box 7604
Ben Franklin Station Washington, D.C. 20044
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Happy Mining, Good Luck Trading Everyone.