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Explaining IRS Crypto Regulations

irs cryptocurrency tax form ; irs crypto regulations

Since its inception, the United State’s cryptocurrency assets have remained shielded from tax authorities. But finally, virtual currency and other digital assets associated with it have turned up on the radar of the Internal Revenue Service, otherwise known as the IRS. They are determined to include all ambiguous Cryptocurrency earnings of general folks and large firms within the tax laws.

In fairness, with all the noise, the imminent tightened IRS crypto regulations were inevitable. From existing constraints to the upcoming changes in IRS crypto tax regulations due to president Joe Biden’s 2022 budget proposal, this article discusses every aspect in length.

What is IRS crypto?

The IRS virtual currency includes all sorts of cryptocurrencies available on the market. For tax purposes, virtual currency is regarded as property. The IRS defines cryptocurrency as a digital representation that serves as a means of exchange, store of value, a unit of account, but does not represent the United States dollar or a foreign currency.”

This criterion covers the majority of cryptocurrencies, although non-fungible tokens are noticeably excluded (NFTs). Like other cryptocurrencies, NFTs often don’t serve as a medium of exchange or a store of value. Even though the IRS hasn’t specifically stated so, NFTs are likely to be treated as property for tax purposes, even though they aren’t a virtual currency.

How does the IRS regulate cryptocurrency?

The IRS released a Notice in March 2014 outlining IRS crypto regulations on exchanges and transactions. It gave an overview of the fundamentals of tax reporting relating to Cryptocurrencies. The IRS marks Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as property rather than money. It is because virtual currency is neither supported nor regulated by the government. Cryptocurrency cannot act as cash.

Due to Crypto’s treatment as property, any exchanges that involve them would result in a gain or loss for both the spender and the recipient. In such a case, it will be eligible for tax reporting. However, for individuals who deal in cryptocurrency, the president’s 2022 budget proposal might result in multiple new IRS virtual currency regulations.

According to one suggestion, companies should notify the IRS of any bitcoin transactions worth more than $10,000. Another mandate is that custodians and exchanges of digital assets provide information on user accounts that carry out at least $600 in gross inflows or outflows each year. Another prospective regulation is to increase the top long-term capital gains tax rate from 23.8% to 43.4%.

When do you owe taxes in cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are not subject to tax payments on their own. Thus, neither individuals nor firms need to pay taxes if they simply hold crypto. The IRS considers cryptocurrencies as property for taxation purposes. So, IRS virtual currency taxation comes into play when anyone sells or uses their cryptocurrency in a transaction, as it causes capital gains or losses if their market value shifts.

Cryptocurrency payments made for commercials will be taxed as business income. The IRS crypto regulations state that when investors sell cryptocurrency or receive it as income, they must pay taxes on that amount. When buying, selling, mining, earning, or utilizing a cryptocurrency, one must report their transactions in U.S. dollars, which typically requires converting the coin’s value to dollars.

In general, someone would see a financial gain of $2000 if they purchased $1000 worth of Bitcoin and sold it for $3000. They would suffer a capital loss instead if Bitcoin’s value decreased during that time. Anyone may deduct up to $3,000 from their taxable income if their losses outweigh their gains (for individual filers).

Forms to use

Taxpayers need to list their gains and losses on various tax forms. The IRS Form 8949 is the most detailed one. Every sale that results in a profit or loss is outlined on crypto tax form 8949. Asset identification, date of purchase, date of sale, cash, cost basis, short versus long term, and gain or loss are only a few of the information supporting the final calculation.

Form 8949 cryptocurrency traders and holders use; includes all Schedule D transactions, including capital gains and losses from their crypto trades. This form is available as an editable PDF from the IRS. Customers who use H&R Block or turbotax cryptocurrency tax filing software do not need to fill out this form because the software does the job.

The 2021 American infrastructure bill mandates that cryptocurrency exchanges issue Form 1099-B beginning with the tax year 2023. Tax Form 1099-B keeps track of the sales of

What tax forms do major crypto exchange platforms issue?

The current coinbase pro tax form is the 1099-MISC for coinbase tax reporting on various crypto income of U.S. clients who meet specific requirements. It no longer issues the IRS Form 1099-K. No official coinbase 1099-b form is available for users as of now.

The current binance tax form for U.S. users is 1099-MISC. Binance previously issued a 1099-K form for U.S. users with income exceeding $600 in a single financial year. A new IRS binance form may be imminent due to upcoming changes in U.S. crypto regulations.

Explaining IRS guidance

The tax treatment of transactions involving convertible virtual currencies is outlined in IRS Notice 2014-21, which guides both individuals and companies. Virtual currency is considered property for federal crypto currency tax purposes. Cryptocurrency transactions follow general tax laws that apply to real estate deals.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal was signed into law by President Biden in November 2021. The bill was extensive, and various amendments will impact crypto tax laws. These changes will only apply to the 2023 tax year.

The IRS will release proposed regulations first, followed by a final IRS cryptocurrency regulation. Digital assets like Bitcoin are classified as “specified securities” under the new infrastructure law. It makes them subject to reporting on sales like stocks and bonds. It is crucial since some institutions (brokers) will be required to monitor and report the cryptocurrency activity of their clients.

How much do I have to make in crypto to report to the IRS?

People owe taxes on any profit or income, even if it’s just $1. For activities like staking, individuals must report income above $600, but they must pay taxes on smaller sums too. Based on how one holds the assets before selling them and their tax bracket, one can determine how much cryptocurrency tax one must pay in the U.S.

Profits from a cryptocurrency asset held for less than a year that result in short-term capital gains are taxed at the same rate according to the owner’s income tax bracket. If someone incurs a loss of up to $3,000, they may utilize it to reduce income taxes.

Currently, cryptocurrency assets held for more than a year are taxed at substantially reduced rates of 0% to 20%, depending on the individual’s or a couple’s combined income. Anyone who receives a gift in crypto valuing more than $16,000 is subject to taxation. Lastly, according to the IRS, when someone donates cryptocurrency to a recognized nonprofit organization, they won’t experience a capital gain or loss and won’t be subject to tax.

How likely is the IRS audit on crypto?

As a result of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the IRS will intensify its auditing activities. The law set up $45 billion for enforcement activities that especially include “digital asset monitoring and compliance efforts,”

Anyone can undergo a cryptocurrency audit. The IRS receives user records from all exchanges, allowing them to cross-check reports. In other words, the IRS may conduct a crypto audit on a person if they failed to register cryptocurrency on their tax return or if the information differs from its records.

For instance, the IRS sent letter 6173 in 2019 to certain taxpayers exposed through a Coinbase subpoena. It required them to submit the precise gain and loss calculations for the reported crypto gains and losses. It triggered over 10,000 taxpayers to receive tax letters.

What happens if I don't report my crypto to the IRS?

Although many cryptocurrencies emphasize privacy, they don’t necessarily protect cryptocurrency traders with an impenetrable wall. The IRS monitors the sector using different approaches. For instance, it has learned details about tens of thousands of its users by sending subpoenas to the corporations that run popular crypto exchanges.

One might be subject to fines in addition to taxes if traders “carelessly, deliberately, or intentionally” disregard IRS crypto tax laws or regulations, which include disclosing gains and losses on cryptocurrency trades. Moreover, extra interest will be added to the penalty if they don’t pay it on the due date. Other adverse effects of being detected as underreporting investment earnings include being subject to a thorough audit.

Someone can apply for a repayment plan with the IRS if they are paying their crypto IRS taxes but realize they don’t have enough funds to cover the tax. Although this still requires paying interest but helps to avoid penalties for underreporting income, filing taxes after the deadline, or not filing taxes entirely.

Which crypto exchanges do not report to IRS

All significant cryptocurrency exchanges must follow IRS reporting standards to operate legally in the United States. However, several cryptocurrency exchanges do not gather KYC information for the majority of small traders or report to the IRS, including:

  • OKX 
  • KuCoin 
  • CoinEx

But many platforms that don’t require KYC have transaction restrictions. For instance, OKX forbids P2P trades, and KuCoin has lifetime withdrawal caps without KYC verification.

Additionally, many of these exchanges don’t comply with tax and other laws, making it illegal for them to operate in the U.S. and many other nations. As a result, they might need to immediately withdraw services from customers, which would result in freezing the assets in the platform.

The number of credible cryptocurrency exchanges that do not report or comply with IRS regulations may continue to shrink as a result of the government’s steadfast enforcement of crypto legislation. 


Fair to say, the IRS and cryptocurrency have finally come to terms to find a middle ground. Since cryptocurrencies are still relatively new, they will continue to be present in the mainstream virtual market. Understanding IRS crypto regulations on tax will become more challenging to comprehend with new and revised constraints. Additionally, tax reporting will continue to be subject to increased scrutiny. Individuals and organizations who are now using cryptocurrencies in any way or who anticipate doing so soon need to be aware of how it affects their tax obligations.

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