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Tax laws vary around the world. Please familiarize yourself with the tax rules that apply to you based on your country/jurisdiction.
Most countries consider cryptocurrencies to be capital assets. Therefore if the asset appreciates in value and you sell/trade/use it for profit, the gains are taxed like capital gains. If the asset depreciates in value and you sell/trade/use it at a loss, you may be able to deduct the losses against other capital gains to reduce your taxes.
The amount of tax depends on how much capital gain/loss there has been on the asset, how long you have held the asset, and the specific regulations in your country/jurisdiction. Because each taxable event may create a capital gain, you need to know the date, cost basis, sale value, and any fees associated with each transaction.
Generally speaking, these are considered taxable events:
- Selling cryptocurrency for fiat currency (i.e. USD, CAD, EUR, JPY, etc.)
- Trading cryptocurrency for other cryptocurrency
- Using cryptocurrency to buy a good or service
- Receiving cryptocurrency as a result of a fork or from mining
On the other hand, the following are generally not considered taxable events:
- Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency (except in cases where the purchase price is lower than the fair market value of the purchased coin)
- Donating cryptocurrency to a tax-exempt organization
- Gifting cryptocurrency to anyone (if the gift is sufficiently large it may trigger a gift tax)
- Transferring cryptocurrency from one wallet that you own to another wallet that you own