Have you had a great year with cryptocurrencies? Made the right trades at the right time and seen some hefty gains? Unfortunately, come tax season and the IRS is going to want a big chunk of your gains – they are already sending out warning letters!
Given that crypto trading hasn’t been around for too long, there isn’t a lot of clarity around crypto taxes and how they work. Yet, there are a few things that you can do today to minimize your tax liability in a big way. Here are some of the most important ones:
#1 Cut your losses before the year ends – or not
Let’s say you have made significant capital gains selling cryptocurrencies during the year. But you’re currently holding currencies whose value is extremely low. Selling these holdings will trigger a capital loss, and you can use those losses to offset other capital gains and even up to $3000 of ordinary income. You can also carry over remaining losses to the next year.
But what if you don’t actually want to sell your holdings but stay invested for the long term? A simple approach is to just buy back what you’ve sold after a few days. Luckily, cryptocurrencies are classified as “property” by the IRS, which means that the “Wash Sale Rule” that applies to stocks and securities doesn’t apply to cryptocurrency. The Wash Sale Rule prevents traders from offsetting capital gains if they repurchase an investment that was sold for a loss in the last 30 days. Since this doesn’t apply to cryptocurrencies, you can sell your holdings, book your losses, and then buy them back.
#2 Remember your trading fees, they pile up!
This one’s a no-brainer but still gets forgotten sometimes. Cryptocurrency trading fees are nothing but a cost to acquire the crypto, and are therefore treated as a fully tax-deductible. Transfer fees, on the other hand, are not directly related to the cost of acquiring the crypto. So ignore the transfer fees (which are relatively negligible anyway) but deduct all trading fees.
#3 Be a HODLer for at least a year
Holding cryptocurrencies for less than a year triggers short-term capital gains tax which end up being significantly higher than long-term capital gains tax. So it’s usually better to stay invested for a longer period of time.
Of course, you may argue that the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies means that gains are mostly realized over very short periods. A good way around this problem is to use instant crypto credit lines. These allow you to borrow against your crypto assets instead of having to sell them. So you get instant access to cash while staying invested in the long run and avoiding crypto taxes. The only thing to keep in mind is that such credit lines come with interest rates which are much lower than the tax rates but can pile up if you are borrowing long term – something to keep in mind.
#4 Buy crypto using your IRA or 401-K
If you use a retirement account to buy cryptocurrencies, all the capital gains generated from the transaction will come back to the account with tax deferred. In fact, in the case of a Roth IRA, there’ll be no tax liability at all. So you can keep investing in cryptocurrencies over a long period of time, without having to take out money to pay capital gains tax.
#5 Made gains in real estate and lost big on crypto? You are in luck.
It’s important to remember that your crypto capital gains can also be offset against other capital losses. So if you’ve had a bad run at the stock markets (which isn’t improbable, given that the MSCI world index actually went down 10.44% last year), you can use those losses to offset some of your capital gains and reduce your overall tax burden.
#6 Make the world a better place – give to charity!
If there’s some serious money at stake, Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs) are a tax planning vehicle that you can use to minimise your tax liability in a big way.
You need to create a CRT and then transfer your cryptocurrencies to the trust. The trustee will then sell the cryptocurrencies at full market value and then reinvest the proceeds from the sale into other income-generating assets. Not only do you not have to pay any capital gains when the asset is sold, but you will also receive a charitable deduction when you transfer the property to the trust. The trust pays you an annuity for the rest of your days, after which the remaining assets go to charity. So you reduce your tax liability and convert your cryptocurrencies into an income-generating asset!
#7 Record everything!
Failure to report crypto transactions can result in a penalty up to $250,000. Given that there are so many transactions taking place in the course of the year, calculating the amount of tax you owe can become complicated. That’s why it’s important to keep all your transactions in an excel file so that you can calculate the cost of purchase easily. If you don’t have perfect record-keeping, it might be a good idea to use crypto tax software that can help you consolidate the data and generate the documents you need.
The bottom line
Take proactive measures to minimize your crypto tax liability. Use these tips early in the financial year so that you can prepare yourself for tax season and keep most of your capital gains. If you are not sure how to prepare your tax returns, hire a competent crypto tax accountant. While this option may be expensive a good accountant can usually make up for the fees by saving you on taxes.
Bitcoin technical analysis: Support levels are in focus for now
- Bitcoin is struggling once again but the price has found some support at an internal trendline.
- Below the price level at the moment is the psychological 8,000 level.
Bitcoin is struggling like most cryptocurrencies today. The BTC/USD pair is currently trading 2.63% lower as sentiment remains weak. The price on the hourly chart is making lower highs and lower lows after the pivotal 8,233.00 support level was broken. The price is currently just under the value area now 8,164.17. This is the price where most contracts have been traded on the Coinbase exchange.
The interesting thing on the chart is the internal trendline it was respected five times in total. Two times in a previous wave series and then three more times after it was broken on October 9th. The next support level is at the 8K psychological support level and below that the consolidation low of 7701.00.
On the daily chart, the price is still firmly in a downtrend and this will only continue if the wave low of 7701.00 is broken to the downside. On the upside there is some way to go before the consolidation wave high is taken out at 8,826.00. Only when this is broken can we talk about a price recovery.
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Bitcoin Whale Transfers Almost $25M in BTC from Binance to Gemini
A major player in the cryptocurrency space has just moved 3,000 BTC from Binance to Gemini. The reason for the transfer is still not clear.
It seems like yet another whale in the cryptocurrency market is again flaunting his or her money. A recent massive transfer was picked up by Whale Alert (@whale_alert) which notified the rest of the cryptocurrency community that 3,000 BTC ($25M) was being moved from Binance to Gemini.
There are a few possible catalysts for such a major move, but it seems most likely that someone is cashing out some BTC on Gemini through an OTC sale. Interestingly enough, the move came just a few hours after Bitcoin rebounded from the $8,280 price point to $8,380 or so.
Major whales have been making moves in the past few days. As BeInCrypto has reported on this past week, just two days ago one whale moved 1,000 BTC to an external wallet presumably to HODL. Another whale yesterday moved 650 BTC ($5.3M) from Coinbase to an external wallet as well, another indication that accumulation is happening behind the scenes. This uptick in high-value transfers to external wallets indicates that something may be brewing in the background.
However, this particular transfer of 3,000 BTC does not appear to be a whale interested in HODL’ing. Instead, this is transfer is likely for a possible sale or, at the very best, purchasing of altcoins on Gemini. The market has not responded to this transfer, but this is just one piece of the puzzle.
Recently, the market has been quiet, but the odd increase in high-value transfers makes one wonder — could we see a major move for Bitcoin in the coming weeks? Maybe the whales are giving us a hint.
‘Satoshi’ Enters the Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary, published by the Oxford University Press, has added “satoshi” to its compendium of the English language.
First used less than seven years ago, satoshi is the newest word added to the dictionary. The addition was made as part of a quarterly update to the respected source’s database that also includes the words “Manhattanhenge,” “whatevs” and a revised history of “fake news.”
According to the now official OED definition, a satoshi is “the smallest monetary unit in the bitcoin digital payment system, equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin,” or 0.00000001 BTC.
OED lexicographers take a descriptive approach to language, meaning that the dictionary observes how words emerge, grow or diminish in popularity and change definitions over time.
The OED’s policy says:
“Our role is to monitor and record emerging vocabulary so that we can make new terms available to our dictionary users as soon as they start to gain traction.”
Cited uses of the noun come from Ripple Project, a Usenet newsgroup in 2012, from the Guardian in 2013 and the Times in 2017.
The OED notes American and British pronunciations differ. Stateside, the “o” in Satoshi is pronounced like the “ʊ” sound in foot, whereas across the pond the “o” sounds like the “ɒ” in “lot.”
The word is derived from the proper noun, Satoshi Nakamoto, the “probably pseudonymous” creator or creators of bitcoin. In this context, Nakamoto is an etymon, or a word from which a later word is derived.
Curiously, the authorities on grammar state Nakamoto was “reportedly born in 1975,” referring to one of the only bread crumbs left behind by the mysterious founder when asked to give a birth date on a website where he first described the plan for bitcoin.