Quickex team
April 5, 2024
~10 min read

Guide to US Cryptocurrency Taxation in 2024

This guide provides a broad overview of the 2024 tax season and offers valuable tips on compliance, reporting, and strategies for minimizing tax liabilities.

Guide to US Cryptocurrency Taxation in 2024

Cryptocurrencies are becoming an increasingly important asset for investors, traders and everyday users, taxation issues for these digital assets are of particular relevance. The United States, as one of the leading cryptocurrency markets, is approaching this issue with the utmost care. The 2024 tax season is no exception, as cryptocurrency holders will face a number of requirements and guidance from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) aimed at regulating and controlling this new and dynamic sector of the economy.

At a time when tax rules can seem complex and confusing, crypto exchange to Quickex aims to simplify the process of managing crypto assets, making it more understandable and accessible to every user.

IRS tax season overview for 2024

Tax season in the United States is always accompanied by excitement among taxpayers, and 2024 is no exception, especially for cryptocurrency market participants. In recent years, the growing interest in digital assets has led to increased scrutiny from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on transactions involving cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other digital assets.

Deadlines for cryptocurrency reporting

The key to the 2024 tax season for cryptocurrency holders is the obligation to declare all transactions made during the previous tax year, which ran from January 1 to December 31, 2023. All U.S. taxpayers who traded, received or profited from digital assets during this period must report their transactions to the IRS.

  • The filing deadline — is one of the most important dates to remember: all reports must be filed by April 15, 2024. This is the standard deadline for filing tax returns in the U.S., and it also applies to reports on cryptocurrency transactions. Note that if a taxpayer applies for an extension, the deadline can be extended, but the original date remains an important benchmark for all market participants.

Thus, the 2024 tax season places clear requirements on cryptocurrency holders to document and declare their financial transactions involving digital assets. With this in mind, it is crucial to approach the process of preparing and filing tax returns in a conscious and responsible manner to avoid possible penalties and other negative consequences for non-compliance with tax laws.

Checklist on cryptocurrencies from the IRS

As you prepare for the 2024 tax season, it's important to consider several key aspects related to cryptocurrencies and their taxation. The IRS provides clear guidance to help taxpayers navigate the cryptocurrency filing process. Here are the main points to consider:

Reporting period:

  • Dates: January 1 through December 31, 2023. All transactions with cryptocurrencies during this period must be declared.

Submission Deadline:

  • Submission Date: until April 15, 2024. It is important not to miss this deadline to avoid penalties and other penalties.

Taxation of various activities:

  • Trading cryptocurrencies: All buying and selling of cryptocurrencies is subject to reporting and potential taxation.
  • Receiving cryptocurrencies: This includes mining, steaking, and receiving cryptocurrencies as gifts or in payment for goods and services.
  • Cryptocurrency exchange: The exchange of one cryptocurrency for another is considered a realization and is taxable.
  • NFT: NFT transactions are also reportable and taxable depending on the type of transaction.
  • Other income: Income also includes rewards for mining, staking and participation in Play-to-Earn games.

Special Situations:

  • Gifts and charity: Transfers of cryptocurrencies as gifts or donations may have special tax consequences.
  • Losses and Thefts: Losses resulting from theft or loss of cryptocurrencies may be subject to special accounting.

Important forms to fill out:

  • Form 8949: To itemize all capital asset transactions, including cryptocurrencies.
  • Schedule D (Form 1040): To finalize your capital gains or losses.

This checklist is an essential tool for anyone involved in cryptocurrencies and will help ensure that you are fully prepared for the 2024 tax season. It is always advisable to contact a professional tax advisor for accurate and up-to-date information relevant to your individual case.

Tax benefits and exemptions

In the world of cryptocurrency, where taxation can seem extensive and complex, there are certain activities that the IRS does not consider taxable events. Understanding these exemptions can help taxpayers optimize their tax returns and avoid unnecessary liabilities. Here are the key cryptocurrency activities that are generally exempt from taxation:

Buying crypto with U.S. dollars

Purchasing cryptocurrency directly with US dollars and holding it in your wallet is not considered a taxable event. Taxes are only levied when you sell, exchange, or otherwise use cryptocurrency for profit.

Transfer of assets between own wallets

The transfer of cryptocurrency between your own wallets or accounts does not have tax implications as it is not considered a realization of assets. It is important to keep in mind that such transfers should be documented to avoid mistakenly treating them as taxable transactions.

NFT mining

NFT mining is not in itself a taxable event. Tax liabilities arise only when an NFT is sold. However, it is worth noting that any gain realized from the sale of an NFT is taxable.

Other exempt actions:

  • Gifts of cryptocurrency: The transfer of cryptocurrency as a gift is not considered a taxable event for the giver until the gift limit is reached (e.g., $17,000 in 2023). The recipient, in turn, inherits the donor's cost base and may owe taxes on the subsequent sale of the gifted assets.
  • Buying cryptocurrency using another cryptocurrency: Such transactions are taxable because the IRS treats them as a sale of the original cryptocurrency. However, this is not an exemption, this mention is important for clarity and to prevent common misconceptions.
  • Cryptocurrency collateral deposits for Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Depositing cryptocurrency as collateral for DeFi projects is not a taxable event until profits or rewards are received.
  • Cryptocurrency charitable donations: A cryptocurrency donation to charity can not only be tax exempt, but also qualify for a tax deduction if the donation is made directly to a charitable organization.

Understanding these exemptions and exemptions can make tax planning much easier for cryptocurrency market participants. It is always advisable to consult with a tax professional for personalized advice appropriate for your unique situation.

How are cryptocurrencies and NFTs taxed in the United States?

In the United States, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are taxed according to two main categories: capital gains and ordinary income. Understanding the differences between these taxation categories is key for taxpayers because it directly affects how and to what extent their income and gains from these assets are taxable.

Capital gains

Capital gains occur when a cryptocurrency or NFT is sold for more than its original acquisition cost (the underlying value). These gains can be categorized as short-term or long-term depending on how long the asset was held before it was sold:

  • Short-term capital gains: relate to assets held for less than one year. These gains are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.
  • Long-term capital gains: refer to assets held for more than one year. Long-term gains are taxed at lower rates, making them more favorable to investors.

Ordinary Income

Ordinary income from cryptocurrencies and NFTs can arise in a variety of situations, including but not limited to:

  • Cryptocurrency mining and rewards for staking, which are considered income when received and are taxed at the standard income tax rate.
  • Receipt of cryptocurrency as payment for goods or services is also classified as ordinary income.
  • Interest and income from DeFi platforms and interest from lending cryptocurrencies that are taxed as ordinary income.

Taxation of income and gains

When it comes to the taxation of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, taxpayers need to accurately track all of their transactions, including purchase and sale dates, purchase price and sale price, in order to properly calculate their capital gains and ordinary income.

It is important to remember that exchanging cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency or using cryptocurrency to purchase goods and services is considered an asset realization and may result in a tax liability.

The complexity of cryptocurrency and NFT taxation requires careful consideration and possibly consultation with tax planning professionals to ensure compliance with tax laws and optimize your tax burden.

Calculating taxable income from cryptocurrencies

Here are the basic steps and principles to consider when calculating taxable income from cryptocurrency transactions.

How to calculate the basis of value?

The cost base — is the amount paid to purchase an asset, including all costs associated with the purchase. In the context of cryptocurrencies, this may include the purchase price of the cryptocurrency itself plus any commissions and fees paid at the time of purchase. To accurately calculate the cost basis, it is important to keep detailed records of each transaction, including the date of purchase, the value of the asset at the time of purchase, and any associated costs.

Determination of assets sold

When selling cryptocurrency, the taxpayer must determine which specific assets were sold. This can be particularly difficult if multiple purchases were made at different prices. U.S. tax law allows various methods for determining assets sold, including:

  • First In, First Out (FIFO): The first asset purchased is considered the first asset sold.
  • Last In, First Out (LIFO): The last asset purchased is considered the first asset sold.
  • Specific Identification: Specific assets are manually selected for sale based on their identification data.

The choice of method can significantly affect the calculated taxable income and tax liabilities.

Examples of calculating capital gains and losses

To calculate a capital gain or loss, you must subtract the cost base from the amount received from the sale of the asset.

Example 1: Capital gains:

  • Buying 1 BTC for $10,000 (cost base), including commissions.
  • Sell 1 BTC for $15,000.
  • Capital gain = $15,000 - $10,000 = $5,000.

Example 2: Capital Loss

  • Buying 1 ETH for $2,000 (cost base), including commissions.
  • Sell 1 ETH for $1,500.
  • Capital loss = $1,500 - $2,000 = -$500.

These capital gains or losses must then be declared on the tax return. In the case of losses, the IRS allows them to be used to reduce taxable income, which can reduce the overall tax burden.

Careful record keeping and an understanding of the principles of calculating cost basis and determining assets sold will help ensure accurate tax reporting and minimize tax liability on cryptocurrency transactions.

Filing a tax return for 2023

Filing a tax return, including information about cryptocurrency transactions, requires care and an understanding of what forms need to be completed.

Important tax reporting forms

Here's an overview of important tax reporting forms:

  • Form 8949 (Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets): This form is used to detail each transaction to sell or otherwise dispose of capital assets, including cryptocurrencies. Here you enter the dates of purchase and sale, the cost basis, the amount of the sale, and the amount of the capital gain or loss.
  • Schedule D ( Form 1040): This form summarizes the information from Form 8949 and shows the total amount of capital gain or loss. Schedule D is attached to your Form 1040 general tax return.
  • Form 1040 (U.S. Individual Income Tax Return): A basic tax return form for individuals that reports total income, including capital gains and ordinary income derived from cryptocurrency transactions.

Tips to simplify the tax filing process

Here are tips that can simplify the process:

  • Keep detailed records: To simplify filing, it is important to keep accurate and complete records of all your cryptocurrency transactions, including purchase and sale dates, acquisition costs, sale prices and commissions. This will make it easier to calculate capital gains or losses.
  • Using tax software: A range of tax software can automate the process of preparing and filing taxes, especially if you have many transactions. These programs can import data directly from your cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, simplifying the process.
  • Consider contacting a professional: If you have a complicated tax situation or are unsure of your calculations, consider contacting a tax advisor who specializes in cryptocurrencies. Professional help can prevent errors and optimize your tax returns.
  • Check for the latest tax law changes: Tax rules for cryptocurrencies are subject to change, so it's important to stay on top of the latest updates from the IRS that could affect your tax returns.
  • Early Filing: Start preparing for tax season early to avoid the rush and potential last-minute mistakes. Early filing can also help avoid delays in processing your return and receiving refunds.

By following these tips, you can make the process of filing your 2023 cryptocurrency tax return easier and less stressful.

Tips for minimizing cryptocurrency taxation

For cryptocurrency investors and users looking to optimize their tax liability, there are proven strategies that can help reduce their tax burden. Among the most effective approaches are the HODL strategy and donations to charity.

HODL strategy

A HODL (holding assets for a long time) strategy can result in significant tax savings, especially when it comes to capital gains. In the US, long-term capital gains (assets held for more than one year) are taxed at lower rates than short-term capital gains. Therefore, by holding cryptocurrencies for more than one year, investors can significantly reduce the tax rates on their gains.

  • Example: If an investor bought Bitcoin for $10,000 and sold it two years later for $30,000, the $20,000 gain would be taxed as a long-term capital gain at a lower rate, as opposed to a short-term gain that would be taxed at the ordinary income rate.

Donating to charity

Donating cryptocurrency to charity not only supports good causes, but can also offer tax benefits. Cryptocurrency donations can be deducted from taxable income if made to a qualified charity. In addition, by donating cryptocurrency that has increased in value since purchase, investors avoid paying taxes on capital gains that would have arisen when the asset was sold.

  • Example: Suppose an investor donates 1 Bitcoin purchased for $10,000 to a charitable organization when its value reaches $50,000. The investor can deduct the full value of the donated Bitcoin ($50,000) from his taxable income without paying taxes on the $40,000 capital gain.

Additional tips:

  • Losses to offset gains:Investors can use losses from the sale of cryptocurrencies to offset capital gains from other investments, thereby reducing overall taxable income.
  • Choosing when to realize losses:The "sell at a loss" strategy at the end of the tax year can help reduce the tax burden by allowing those losses to be offset by other capital gains.

When utilizing these strategies, it is important to keep in mind the need for accurate record keeping and potential changes in tax laws.

Conclusion

Filing a tax return, including cryptocurrency and NFT transactions, is an important responsibility for taxpayers in the United States. Staying up-to-date on the latest rules and best practices for cryptocurrency taxation can help you not only avoid potential penalties and fines for non-compliance, but also optimize your tax burden.

In the era of digital assets, it's more important than ever to stay informed and take the necessary steps to stay compliant with your tax obligations. The Quickex platform, by providing a secure and convenient cryptocurrency exchange service, emphasizes the importance of responsible management of your crypto assets, including taxation aspects.

Let your experience in the world of cryptocurrencies be not only profitable, but also fully compliant with applicable laws. Successful tax compliance will provide you with peace of mind that your financial records are in good order.

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