September 25, 2023
How to Handle Taxes on Digital Asset Payments
Ben Ornstein

With the ever-growing popularity of digital assets, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals and businesses to understand how these transactions are taxed. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many others aren’t just an investment opportunity; they’ve evolved into viable payment methods for goods and services. As such, they attract the attention of tax authorities worldwide. In this post, we’ll guide you through handling taxes on digital asset payments.

Understanding the Basics:

Cryptocurrency is generally considered property by tax authorities like the IRS in the United States. This means that selling, exchanging, or using cryptocurrencies to buy goods or services can trigger a capital gains tax event. The same goes for other digital assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Any appreciation in value from the time you acquired the asset to when you used it in a transaction is subject to capital gains tax.

How to Report Digital Asset Income:

Reporting your digital asset transactions can seem daunting, but it can be broken down into manageable steps:

  1. Record Keeping: Meticulous record-keeping is paramount in the realm of digital asset taxation. You should keep track of when you acquired your assets, their value at the time of acquisition, and their value at the time of sale or use.
  2. Determining Capital Gains or Losses: To calculate capital gains or losses, subtract the cost basis (the original value of the asset when you acquired it) from the value of the asset when you sold or used it. If the result is positive, you have a capital gain. If it’s negative, you have a capital loss.
  3. Filing Your Tax Return: Depending on your country of residence, you’ll need to report your digital asset transactions on specific forms. For instance, in the US, taxpayers report capital gains on Form 8949 and summary totals on Schedule D.

Potential Tax Benefits:

If you’ve incurred capital losses from your digital asset transactions, you may be able to use these losses to offset other capital gains or income — a process known as tax loss harvesting. The specifics can vary by country, so it’s worth consulting with a tax professional to make sure you’re taking full advantage of any potential tax benefits.

Finishing Up:

While the intersection of cryptocurrencies and tax may seem intimidating, it’s simply a matter of understanding the regulations and maintaining good records. As the digital asset landscape continues to evolve, staying informed on these matters becomes even more crucial. Consult with a tax advisor or a professional familiar with digital asset taxation to ensure you are compliant and taking advantage of all possible deductions and benefits.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as tax advice. Consult with a tax professional for advice tailored to your specific circumstances.