Your Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are taxable. The IRS considers cryptocurrency holdings to be “property” for tax purposes, which means your virtual currency is taxed in the same way as any other assets you own, like stocks or gold.
The IRS classifies crypto as a type of property, rather than a currency. If you receive Bitcoin as payment, you have to pay taxes on its current value. If you sell a cryptocurrency for a profit, you’re taxed on the difference between your purchase price and the proceeds of the sale.
But exactly how crypto taxes are calculated depends on your specific circumstances. Here’s how it boils down:
If you acquired a Bitcoin (or part of one) from mining, that value is taxable immediately; no need to sell the currency to create a tax liability.
If you disposed of or used cryptocurrency by cashing it on an exchange or buying goods and services, you will owe taxes if the realized value is greater than the price at which you acquired the crypto. You may have a capital gain that’s taxable at either short-term or long-term rates.