How to Calculate and File Cryptocurrency Taxes

Given the bear market, we would like to save you some money where we can. Here’s a short article on how you can leverage cryptocurrency tax software to reduce the complexity, calculate gain-loss and also save money on your tax preparation.

Disclaimer

We are not certified accountants and not professional financial advisors. This article is intended to provide information about ways to do some pre-work so as to avoid additional costs that CPA would charge for spending their time. Again, this may change from case to case basis and some of those cases might need CPAs assistance for accurate filing of taxes — It’s always better to consult a certified public accountant or CPA to get legal advice on your financial and tax-related questions. This article should be considered only as informational one.

Introduction

It’s tax time and everyone will be busy consolidating their tax documents and filing taxes for the year 2018. Cryptocurrency investors might use a couple of fiat exchanges to purchase using USD, whereas traders might use few to tens of exchanges to make use of early listings of few tokens and price arbitrage and various other flexibility factors.

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

Consolidation of trades from all these exchanges is necessary and it’s a tedious task. Assigning proper cost basis for all those transactions would be even harder for you as an individual or an accountant. To automate this cumbersome task, there is software like BearTax — which can integrate with your favorite exchanges either via API or File Upload and import your trades. Once it is done, you can calculate gain/loss and use that information to file taxes.

Read through the following steps to understand how you can leverage such software and calculate your tax liability and file your taxes.

Selection of Tax Year

It’s important for anyone to consolidate their trades from the history and calculate your tax liability. Taxes on cryptocurrency trading might not be stringent in previous years — but it’s on us to calculate and report our trades from up to 7 years in the past. Tax software like BearTax allows you to change tax year and download your tax forms as needed. This also allows you to differentiate between long-term gains and short-term gains, thus allowing you to pay taxes appropriately.

Supports Every Exchange in the world via API or File Upload

We support direct integration via API or file upload for every major exchange and provide manual support in processing trades from every exchange.

It’s important for everyone to consolidate trades before they calculate capital gains. Also, It’s completely fair for a trader to try out various exchanges to purchase and trade various digital assets before they become mainstream.

In this case, there is no need to worry because we provide support to process trades from almost any exchange as far as if you could upload as a generic format we suggest or email us the exchange exports (CSV/XLS/XLSX) if you are having a hard time converting to our beautiful generic template.

Add Transactions Manually

Though we try to automate and make it easy for you to import and consolidate transactions, there could be some which could need a manual entry to align things better.

This could be a set of transactions done over the counter or someone who might have bought for you — but they need to be accounted for better record keeping and taxation purposes.

Hence we provide a smooth experience to add your transactions manually. You can either enter them manually and can specify if it’s bought with Fiat or Crypto. Alternatively, if the list is a bit longer, then you can compile them into a sample format provided and upload them to be processed in a flash.

Gain-Loss summary

Now that you’ve aggregated trades from various exchanges, added manual transactions from unsupported exchanges and adjustments. The system will now match your buys and sells and consider appropriate taxable events to finally give you a summary of gain-loss.

This gives you a picture of your profits or losses on each asset traded and an overall gain/loss. This is the final step where you tax documents such as Form 8949 (Capital Gains Form) would be ready for you to download.

What Next?

Once you have your form 8949, you can attach this with your tax returns or provide it to your tax preparer to file your taxes.

Apart from Form 8949, there are options to export the data into various formats depending on your needs.

BearTax is also integrated with TurboTax Online. You can export your capital gains and losses as a CSV file and import it on TurboTax Online. Instructions for this are explained in detail here. Also, you can download an aggregated version of CSV if you have more than 250 transactions as TurboTax Online has a limitation of 250 trades.

Also, you can export to TaxAct format, which is generally supported by lots of software used by accountants to file taxes. Ask your accountant if that would help them file quickly.

You will get a detailed auditable CSV for future reference which shows information of acquired date, sold date, cost basis and total proceeds for each digital asset or cryptocurrency that you have bought and sold.

For more complex cases and if you have additional stock trades and real estate transactions, you could approach a professional CPA to help to compile gains or losses from various assets.

More by Vamshi Vangapally

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