Do I Have To Pay Taxes On Bitcoin

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While many joke about that unfortunate boating accident that magically makes all bitcoin disappear, the vast majority of us know that as the popular meme goes, “One does not simply not pay taxes.” This article is geared toward the U.S. tax code, as the way bitcoin is treated varies depending on jurisdiction. Once the IRS declared that virtual currency, such as bitcoin, would be taxed as “property” and not currency, it became the obligation of bitcoin holders to pay taxes on any gains (See IRS Notice 2014-21, Guidance on Virtual Currency, March 25, 2014).

These gains include, but are not limited to, earnings from any type of exchange or sale; gains from selling that may have been made upon the purchase of a good or service with bitcoin (including those lambos); and on fair market value of any mined bitcoin, as of the date of receipt. Needless to say, record keeping can be particularly burdensome for the unwary, inexperienced or careless.

For individuals holding bitcoin for investment purposes, gains or losses from a sale of bitcoin, or virtual currency, is reported on IRS Form 1040 Schedule D and IRS Form 8949 (Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets). Individuals with realized gains on bitcoin held for one year or less are taxed with ordinary tax rates, while those that hold for over one year are subjected to capital gains tax rates.


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