As the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has risen sharply over the past year, there has been a corresponding increase in media coverage and public interest. This has also led to a greater focus on the tax implications of investing in cryptocurrencies.
In the United States, the IRS has taken the position that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are property, not currency, and are subject to capital gains taxes. This has led to some confusion among taxpayers, who are unsure of how to report their cryptocurrency holdings on their taxes.
The IRS’s position is based on the fact that Bitcoin does not meet the definition of currency in the United States. Currency is defined as “a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value.” Bitcoin does not fit this definition because it is not currently accepted as a medium of exchange by most businesses.
Additionally, there is no central authority that issues or regulates Bitcoin, which means it cannot be used as a unit of account. Finally, while the value of Bitcoin has fluctuated greatly over its short history, it has not yet been proven to be a reliable store of value over time.
Because Bitcoin is not considered currency in the United States, it is subject to capital gains taxes. This means that if you sell Bitcoin for more than you paid for it, you will owe taxes on the difference. The tax rate you will owe depends on how long you held the Bitcoin before selling it.
If you held it for less than a year, you will owe short-term capital gains taxes at your ordinary income tax rate. If you held it for longer than a year, you will owe long-term capital gains taxes at a lower rate.
If you have made money investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it is important to understand your tax obligations. The IRS’s position that Bitcoin is property means that capital gains taxes apply to any profits you make from buying and selling it.
Be sure to keep track of your cryptocurrency transactions so that you can accurately report them on your tax return.