Bitcoin Taxes: Do You Have To Pay Taxes on Crypto?

Investors see good crypto but fail to account for that they might have to pay taxes. Here are the key points to remember if do you have to pay taxes on crypto.

A Bitcoin position can be cashed out in part or in full to reduce risk and realize gains for the investor. Taxes on capital gains are however also triggered by this choice. Selling their Bitcoin will result in thousands of U.S. dollars in capital gains taxes for some investors.

It makes sense that they would look for ways to lessen the impact of the cryptocurrency tax. People are taxed on a variety of income sources and transactions throughout their lives, so a little relief would be greatly appreciated. Several legal tax loopholes that allow you to withdraw money from Bitcoin without paying taxes provide reassurance to crypto investors.

WSJ tax columnist Laura Saunders breaks down how to navigate reporting digital assets to the IRS ahead of Tax Day.

How cryptocurrency taxes work

Similar fundamental tax laws apply to cryptocurrencies and other assets. Depending on when you bought and sold, you may make or lose money when you sell virtual currency. You are eligible for a tax deduction if your investments as a whole have net losses. Investors with capital gains, however, will be required to pay the IRS a portion of their earnings.

The majority of people invest in cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency is frequently regarded as a capital asset under the current virtual currency transactions and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service. This indicates that you must pay capital gains tax on it. (We’ll talk more about receiving cryptocurrency as income in a moment.)

  • When you sell cryptocurrency for much more than you paid for it and held the investment for a year or less, you make a short-term capital gain. Similar to wage income, these are taxed at the taxpayer’s ordinary gross income tax rate.
  • When you sell cryptocurrency for more than you paid for it but kept the investment for more than a year, you realize long-term capital gains. Long-term capital gains tax rates, which can be as low as 0%, are applied to these gains.

Do You Have To Pay Taxes on Crypto?

You will be required to pay taxes on cryptocurrency if you do not employ tax protection strategies. It is regarded as an investment and is governed by the same laws as any other asset. If you declare a profit across all of your assets, you will be required to pay taxes on capital gains by offsetting your cryptocurrency gains with capital losses on sales of stocks, properties, and other assets.

Understanding Cryptocurrency and Taxes

Tax-related queries from investors are frequent. Of course, they want to invest in assets without having to worry about taxes, but if you don’t account for this additional cost, your profits may be overestimated. Making wiser financial decisions and saving money for tax day will be made easier if you are aware of how taxes affect your cryptocurrency payment.

Trading (Exchange) Cryptocurrency

Short-term capital gains result from trading and exchanging assets on a cryptocurrency exchange. If you held onto the asset for less than a year before selling it, your capital gains are considered short-term. As a result of these gains being taxed as ordinary income, your tax bracket may increase. At the end of the year, rather than per trade, you are taxed on your net gain or loss. A net loss becomes deductible from taxes, whereas a net gain results in higher taxes.

Buying crypto

When you buy digital currencies, you don’t have to pay taxes. To put off paying taxes, some people invest in assets and hold them for years. If you leave assets to an heir, they will receive the increased cost basis. Your investments’ capital gains are eliminated by this step-up. If your Bitcoin increases in value by $100,000 and you leave it to your heirs, for instance, they won’t be required to pay taxes on that capital gain if they sell.

Cryptocurrency Mining

Mined cryptocurrency is considered ordinary income by the IRS. Your mining profits are taxed at your regular income rate. Upon mining a cryptocurrency, miners are required to pay crypto taxes based on the coin’s fair market value.

You must report $60,000 in ordinary income if you mine three Bitcoins for $20,000 each. You still need to report $20,000 per coin in ordinary income even if Bitcoin drops to $10,000 or increases to $30,000 while you hold onto the position. You may be taxed more heavily on income earned outside of crypto mining if you receive cryptocurrency from a mining operation.

How to Cash Out Crypto?

Long-term cryptocurrency investors who cash out are frequently subject to long-term capital gains taxation. Depending on your income level and filing status, you might pay less or no taxes if you held onto cryptocurrency for more than a year before selling it.

If your annual income is less than $78,750, you won’t have to pay taxes on your cryptocurrency gain. Any individual who earns more than $78,750 is subject to the following tax rate:

Tax rates for individuals:

  • tax rate on capital gains for income between $78,570 and $434,550 is 15%.
  • For income over $434,550, the capital gains tax rate is 20%.

Rates of taxation for couples filing jointly (or qualifying widows)

  • tax rate on capital gains for income between $78,570 and $488,850 is 15%.
  • For income over $488,850, the capital gains tax rate is 20%.

Tax rates for joint filers and separate filers

  • tax rate on capital gains for income between $78,570 and $244,425 are 15%.
  • For income over $244,425, there is a 20% capital gains tax rate.

Is Bitcoin Cashouts Tax-Free in the United States?

Some people can cash out their Bitcoins in the US tax-free. Investors can cash out at 0% capital gains tax if their income is less than $78,570. By putting your Bitcoin into smart investment accounts or changing your citizenship, you can also avoid paying taxes.

You do need to pay taxes on your cryptocurrency if you’re a US citizen. Cryptocurrencies are typically held by individuals as investments, so capital gains tax laws apply to them in the US. A year or less of cryptocurrency holdings are subject to short-term gains rates. Long-term capital gains rates are more favorable for cryptocurrency held for a period of time greater than a year.

How to Legally Avoid Cryptocurrency Taxes in 7 Different Ways

Every investor wants to reduce or completely get rid of their tax liability. Fortunately, there are several legal ways for crypto investors to avoid paying taxes when withdrawing Bitcoins.

Do You Have To Pay Taxes on Crypto? Here's 7 ways to legally avoid taxes on crypto

1. Purchase cryptocurrencies using an IRA

By buying cryptocurrency in a self-directed IRA, you might be able to do so tax-efficiently. The majority of IRAs let you make regular investments like stocks, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Self-directed IRAs are a special type of IRA that let you invest in unusual things like real estate, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies.

Finding a self-directed IRA that enables you to invest in the cryptos of your choice is the first step. Before continuing, make sure you are aware of how to purchase cryptocurrency in the self-directed IRA of your choice. Your tax advantages will change once you have an account established based on your tax situation and the kind of IRA you open and add value to.

Traditional IRAs might let you start making tax-deductible contributions, but retirement withdrawals will be subject to ordinary income tax rates. Roth IRA demands that you make post-tax contributions but, if you meet the requirements, let you withdraw money tax-free in retirement.

2. Buy Crypto as a resident of Puerto Rico

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico has different tax laws than the rest of the nation. Puerto Ricans are exempt from paying federal taxes under IRC Section 933. Puerto Ricans who meet the requirements can now avoid paying capital gains taxes on both short- and long-term capital gains. T

o be eligible for this tax break, you must reside in Puerto Rico for 183 days out of every year and purchase a home there within two years of moving there. Stocks, real estate, and other assets are also covered by the advantages.

However, this tactic isn’t as effective as it might be. To be eligible to file your taxes in Puerto Rico, you must establish and maintain bona fide residency there.

4. Keep your cryptocurrency for the long term

You typically don’t have to pay taxes on cryptos until you sell them, as long as you are holding it as an investment and it isn’t producing any income. By not selling any in a specific tax year, you can completely avoid paying taxes.

However, you might decide to sell your crypto at some point. Keep in mind the cryptocurrency you sell has been held for more than a year in order to reduce your tax liability. If so, you might be able to sell your cryptocurrency at a lower long-term capital gains tax rate. Your tax bill might be reduced significantly as a result of this.

5. In a year with low income, sell your assets

The tax rate you pay is based on your income, regardless of whether you have long- or short-term capital gains. Your tax rate will be lower the lower your taxable income is. Selling cryptocurrency that will expect gains in years when you know you’ll pay taxes at a lower tax rate could help you save money on taxes.

As opposed to what many people think, selling cryptocurrency may cause some of your income to be taxed at a higher rate but does not necessarily cause all of it to fall into a higher tax bracket.

6. Give crypto as a gift

Giving cryptocurrency as a gift could save you money on taxes on your crypto gains. Also exempt from gift taxes is the recipient. As of right now, you are permitted to make gifts of up to $15,000 per person per year without having to fill out a gift tax return or pay any gift taxes. Even if you go over the $15,000 threshold, you won’t be subject to gift taxes until your $11.7 million lifetime estate exemption has been exhausted.

To calculate the tax they must pay when they consider selling the cryptocurrency, the recipient will have to understand your basis in it. They will be required to pay tax on the entire gain over your basis, but it might be less than you would have to if you did it yourself.

For example, a mature person in their 50s with a successful career is probably in a higher tax bracket than a young person just out of college and starting their first job. So, if you give your cryptocurrency to a younger member of your family, your overall tax burden may be reduced.

The same goes for donating crypto where donating assets such as property and cryptocurrencies could result in advantageous tax treatment. Normally, you can write off the fair market value of your cryptocurrency without having to pay capital gains taxes.

There are restrictions on the deduction amount, so consult a tax expert to learn how a donation might improve your tax situation.

7. Keep it until you die.

Use your cryptocurrency as a tool for building generational wealth if you don’t need to access the money you invested in it. For this to work, you must believe in the long-term potential of a cryptocurrency, but it may provide exceptional tax benefits.

When you pass away, your assets are given to your heirs on what is referred to as a step-up basis. Consider purchasing $1,000 worth of bitcoin today, which will be worth $250,000 when you pass away in 20 years. You would be liable to pay taxes on a $249,000 gain if you sold the bitcoin just before passing away.

Which country doesn’t tax cryptocurrencies?

Depending on your specific situation, many nations do not impose taxes on cryptocurrency transactions. Germany, Singapore, Portugal, Belarus, and Switzerland are a few of these nations. It’s important to talk this over with a tax advisor because they might tax cryptocurrency income from businesses or tax cryptocurrency in another way. You must stay current on any changes to tax laws as they are also subject to constant change.

Even though some nations do not tax cryptocurrencies, this does not benefit Americans. Americans are subject to taxation on all of their income, including profits from cryptocurrencies. To escape this global income tax, you would need to renounce your citizenship in the United States.

a person calculating his/her taxes


If you bought the assets before they sharply increased in value, investing money in crypto assets could yield sizable profits. If you’re fortunate enough to go through this, some tax planning may be able to help you pay less in taxes on your cryptocurrency gains. You might find the list of suggestions above useful when talking to a tax expert.

Keep in mind that taxation of cryptocurrencies is incredibly complicated, and future changes to the tax implications may occur. This is why it’s always best to speak with a tax expert, like a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). They can assist you in minimizing any potential tax liabilities while ensuring you are adhering to the relevant tax laws.


Read more: Cryptocurrency Taxes: Full Guide to Tax Regulations

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