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The process of creating new cryptocurrency, known as mining, which involves using powerful computers to validate transactions, is one of a growing list of other taxable activities. Although there is no global tax consensus on crypto mining, Wren says jurisdictions are increasingly applying income tax if an individual earns cryptocurrency by mining it, or if they receive it as a promotion or as payment for goods or services.
If an individual retains ownership of cryptocurrency they have mined or earned as a result of mining, and it grows in value before the owner sells or spends it, the owner can then also be liable for capital gains taxes on the profits. Staking — a process of digitally validating blockchain transactions — is another activity that may be subject to income tax. This raises environmental, social and governance ESG concerns at a time when whole sectors of the global economy are attempting to reduce energy consumption and decarbonize.
Utility tokens and security tokens, and how they are taxed While utility tokens are created using the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrency, the similarities end there. Tech start-ups typically sell utility tokens to raise funding for their digital products or services. An investor buys a utility token in order to access the product or service offered by the token issuer. A ride-hailing token, for example, could be used to pay for a taxi journey but not anything else, although it may be exchanged for either government-issued currency or a crypto coin.
Security tokens, however, derive their value from a physical, tradeable asset, such as a stock or real estate. An investor who buys a tokenized version of a stock enjoys the same rights as someone who buys a stock from a traditional stockbroker, including profit share and voting rights. Security tokens also fall under the same regulatory oversight as other investment products. The major difference is that a security token exists in digitized and decentralized form on blockchain.
Most jurisdictions have yet to issue guidance on the tax treatment of utility tokens or security tokens, but that guidance will almost certainly come. Currently, non-fungible tokens NFTs seem to be one of the most popular digital assets classes. In simple terms, NFTs, are unique pieces of software, powered by smart contracts, stored on a blockchain. Although NFTs have been used in blockchain solutions for a long period of time, they have become increasingly popular as a way to store and track digital ownership on a blockchain.
This could be the ownership of a digital piece of art, a piece of sports memorabilia, a profile picture or the entitlement to an exclusive product of a particular brand, but also a piece of digital land in the metaverse or an object or skin to be used in a game. Typically the underlying asset the NFT represents is not stored on the blockchain itself. We see a lot of activity in the NFT space with EY clients right now, Post says, predominantly in the technology and consumer products and retail sectors, but the landscape is rapidly expanding.
Companies are starting to appreciate that NFTs provide a great opportunity to build and grow their brand community. However, these companies are not always aware that the tax queries around NFTs can be very complex and unclear, he adds. The tax consequences of NFTS can encompass both direct and indirect taxes.
The IRS uses multiple methods to keep tabs on the industry. Harris said the IRS may not have the resources to come after every person who fails to disclose cryptocurrency transactions. Getting caught underreporting investment earnings has other potential downsides, like increasing the chances you face a full-on audit. Author Andy Rosen owned Bitcoin at the time of publication.
About the authors: Kurt Woock is a writer at NerdWallet. Read more Andy Rosen is a NerdWallet writer focused on cryptocurrency and alternative investments. He has more than 15 years of journalism experience as a reporter and editor at organizations including The Boston Globe and The Baltimore Sun. Read more On a similar note
That means it is the responsibility of individual crypto owners or their CPAs to keep track of all the gains and losses that their feverish crypto activity generated, including how long each crypto purchase was held, its fair market value when it was bought and sold, and any fees that may be associated with the transaction. Some of the more popular exchanges — such as Coinbase, Bisq, or public.
And even if they do, individual owners will still have to calculate gains and losses based on the price of the crypto asset when it was bought and sold. For example, crypto assets can be used to pay for products and services; traded for other cryptocurrencies; to pay or receive payment for non-fungible tokens NFTs ; to invest in start-up businesses; or even be mined, which means earning crypto by participating in its underlying blockchain authentication process.
In the eyes of the IRS, any time crypto is used as a medium of exchange, it becomes taxable. For example, if someone pays for a good or service with crypto, and profits from the difference in price between the good or service and the purchase price of the crypto, then the profit is reported as ordinary income.
Mined crypto earnings are also taxed as income. However, if one sells or trades crypto, any profits are taxed as capital gains, just as if they were selling a stock. A soft fork can be thought of as a brand extension, as when Bitcoin soft-forked into Bitcoin Gold, Diamond, Private, etc. On the other hand, a hard fork is when an entirely new cryptocurrency is created, and its value appreciates or depreciates in a separate blockchain from the original crypto.
At the moment, NFTs are being used mostly by artists and musicians to ensure the authenticity of a work through its unique blockchain. Basically, if someone creates or purchases an NFT, then sells or trades it, any profits will be subject to capital gains tax. You owe tax on the entire value of the crypto on the day you received it, at your regular income tax rate. Do I Owe Taxes on Cryptocurrency?
Whether you owe taxes on your cryptocurrency depends on how you got it and how you use it. Did you mine cryptocurrency? In exchange for this work, you may receive payment in new crypto tokens. Did you get crypto as a reward or an airdrop? If you receive cryptocurrency through a marketing promotion or an airdrop, it counts as taxable income. Did you receive payment for goods or services in cryptocurrency?
2/18/ · Here’s some good news for crypto taxes: You only owe taxes if you spend or sell it and realize a profit. If you sell or spend your crypto at a loss, you don’t owe any taxes on the . 4/6/ · Mined crypto earnings are also taxed as income. However, if one sells or trades crypto, any profits are taxed as capital gains, just as if they were selling a stock. Likewise, an . Others exempt from sales tax the electricity used or consumed in the commercial mining of cryptocurrency. How BDO Can Help BDO’s tax professionals help businesses and .