How is Cryptocurrency Taxed: Guide
Crypto Knowledge

How is Cryptocurrency Taxed: Guide

written by John Murphy | February 25, 2023

 The concept of cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange based on cryptography, which allows transactions to be protected and maintains users’ anonymity. As with other types of currency, it is subject to taxation by various governments around the world.

 In this article, we will examine how is cryptocurrency taxed in different countries and how investors can minimize their tax liabilities.

Cryptocurrency And Taxation

A cryptocurrency is a decentralized form of digital currency; it is not backed or regulated by a government or financial authority. Therefore, it is treated differently than traditional fiat currencies when it comes to taxation, and there is much confusion about the correct way to pay taxes on cryptocurrency transactions.

Taxation of cryptocurrency depends on the country or jurisdiction in which the transaction takes place. Before knowing about how it is taxed you should know about cryptocurrency value gains.

How does Cryptocurrency Gains Value?

In simple words, it depends on supply and demand.  As demand increases the supply of cryptocurrency will also increase. A change in supply and demand will impact the value of your personal asset.

There are two types of gains you should know before knowing how cryptocurrency is taxed.

 Long-Term Vs. Short-Term Capital Gains:

  1. Long Term gains occur when you hold digital currency in your crypto account for more than a year.
  2. Short Term gains occur when you have currency in your account for less than a year.

Holding your currency for a longer period reduces your tax liability.

Role of Cryptocurrency Transaction

The transactions the user does are added to the blockchain. A cryptocurrency transaction fee is a fee that the user pays to validators for including their transaction in the blockchain. Your Fees and taxes may affect your bottom line so you should keep in mind your transactions and how the cryptocurrency is taxed.

Always manage your transactions so you can easily know the taxes before paying them. This will keep you on track to managing your account more efficiently by paying taxes.  For example, if you do a transaction of 1000$ the fee you will pay for that transaction will be from 0$ – 15$.

How Is Cryptocurrency Taxed?

Buying Crypto:

If you are buying crypto there is no tax to be paid. But you should know about the actual price of crypto before buying it without any unnecessary taxes.

Here we will tell you about the on-chain and off-chain transactions:

  •  On-Chain Transaction

the on-chain transaction is based on the US dollar exchange rate and the date is recorded on the blockchain.

  • Off-Chain Transaction

If the transaction did not occur on the blockchain, then you can consult a cryptocurrency or blockchain explorer to determine the fair market value of the transaction on the time and date it occurred. This value will be accepted by the IRS.

 Exchanging Crypto for Property:

If you exchange property for cryptocurrency, the tax consequences must be addressed in the same tax year. You must subtract the fair market value of the property received from the basis of the crypto you exchanged to determine whether you have a capital gain or loss to know how is cryptocurrency taxed.

For Example:

Max purchases cryptocurrency for $10,000 and holds it for 10 months until it appreciates in value.

She then exchanges $12,000 of her cryptocurrency for a piece of unimproved land. Consequently, she would have to report a short-term capital gain of $2,000 (the difference between the exchange price ($12,000) and her basis ($10,000)).

Exchanging Crypto For Goods/Services

 When exchanging cryptocurrency for goods or services, it is treated as ordinary income according to the fair market value of the entire amount of cryptocurrency.

For example, if Ali pays Elias $50 worth of cryptocurrency to repair a computer, Elias will recognize $50 of ordinary income and Ali would recognize $30 of long-term capital gain (the difference between the purchase price of the cryptocurrency ($20) and the exchange price ($50)).

Gifting Crypto

If receiving cryptocurrency as a gift, no immediate income tax consequences are required, but it may come with the same basis and holding period as the donor. Additionally, higher-valued gifts can be subject to gift and generation-skipping taxes depending on the annual and lifetime exclusion amounts.

When You Earn Cryptocurrency (Income)

Cryptocurrency earned from activities such as mining, staking, yields on crypto accounts, regular pay or bonuses is considered taxable income based on the value of the coins at the time of receipt. This means that any cryptocurrency earned must be reported to the relevant tax authority in order to comply with the law.


 How Can I Avoid Paying Taxes on Crypto?

To avoid paying taxes on cryptocurrency, you must refrain from using it. Once you have sold, used, converted, exchanged, or traded your crypto, you will be liable for taxes due to any increase in the value of the assets. This is the only legal way to avoid paying taxes on crypto. 

Do I Pay Taxes on Crypto If I Don’t Sell?

You are only required to pay taxes on your cryptocurrency gains, which happen when you sell, use, or exchange it. Keeping a digital currency in your possession does not trigger any taxes. 

How Much Tax Do I Owe on Crypto?

The amount of taxes owed on your cryptocurrency will depend on the value exchanged or spent, your income level and tax bracket, and how long you have held the digital currency. For example, taxes must be paid based on your regular income rate if the crypto has been owned for less than one year, and capital gains taxes apply if you have owned it longer than a year


In conclusion, cryptocurrency is subject to taxation by governments around the world. To know how cryptocurrency is taxed it is a digital medium of exchange that utilizes cryptography to protect transactions and preserve anonymity for users. The amount of taxes owed and the method by which taxes are calculated will depend on the country or jurisdiction in which the transaction takes place. 

Investors are generally liable for taxes when they sell, use, convert, exchange, or trade their crypto, and at that point must pay either their regular income tax rate or capital gains taxes. By understanding the rules and regulations regarding cryptocurrency taxation, investors can minimize their tax liabilities and ensure compliance with the law.