Crypto Taxes: Reducing Your Tax Burden With Crypto Donations (2023)

by | Dec 6, 2023

Navigating crypto tax codes can be tricky, especially given the nuances that come along with crypto mining, getting paid in crypto, receiving airdrops and more. 

Astute crypto users in the US and several other countries have a powerful tool to reduce their tax burden: charitable crypto donations. Whether you’re an experienced investor or a newcomer to the crypto space, knowing how philanthropy can reduce your tax burden is paramount. 

In this short guide, we will unravel the complexities of cryptocurrency taxation and shine a light on how donating crypto to nonprofits not only contributes positively to society but also enhances your financial planning.

Note: The Giving Block is not a tax advisor and does not give financial advice. This article is for informational purposes only. Please consult a tax advisor regarding your financial situation.

TL;DR: Donate Crypto, Lower Taxes

Cryptocurrency donations can dramatically lower your tax burden. That’s because crypto is treated like a property for tax purposes. By donating appreciated crypto, you won’t owe capital gains tax on those appreciated assets as you would have if you had sold the crypto first.

From a charitable giving perspective, donating crypto is more tax-efficient than donating cash. The difference between selling your crypto then donating vs. donating crypto directly can be substantial. The latter can save you 20% or more, which results in a larger donation than you would have been able to give otherwise.

Tax Benefits Explained - GRAPHIC | The Giving Block

>> What do Vitalik Buterin, Gary Vee, and Yam Karkai have in common? They’re all honorees of our Faces of Crypto Philanthropy series.

How Cryptocurrency Gains Are Taxed

Despite the surging popularity of Bitcoin and its counterparts, tax codes don’t categorize them as regular currency equivalents. Each crypto transaction, whether it involves a sale or exchange, triggers distinct tax considerations.

According to IRS guidelines, virtual currencies fall under the property category for federal tax purposes. Essentially, the principles governing property transactions are applicable to cryptocurrencies.

Current Crypto Tax Rates

For tax purposes, crypto transactions fall under the umbrella of capital gains and losses. A capital gain occurs when a crypto asset is sold for more than its acquisition cost. The tax rate is contingent on how long you held the assets in question and your income.

Short-term gains, realized within a year, are treated as regular taxable income, subject to rates ranging from 10% to 37%. Long-term gains, held for over a year, are subject to federal rates capped at 23.8% (if you include the net investment tax).

It’s crucial to be mindful of state taxes, too, as they can elevate the total tax burden for high-income earners to the “30% and above” range. Plus, some earners are subject to the net investment tax we just mentioned, which can add an additional 3.8% of either your net investment income or the amount by which your modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain thresholds.

Determining Your Cryptocurrency Taxes

If your crypto investments have resulted in gains, you can be pretty certain that it will impact your taxes. Given the unique nature of each individual’s circumstances, consulting with a tax advisor is a smart step. And if you’ve done more than simply purchasing and selling crypto (for example, engaging in crypto-to-crypto transactions) it will also have implications for your tax reporting. 

  • Crypto Mining: Earnings from crypto mining or the sale of mined crypto are subject to capital gains taxes. Hobbyist miners should report mined crypto as “Other Income,” while professionals utilize Schedule C for their earnings.
  • Gifts and Inheritance: Receiving crypto as a gift incurs no immediate tax obligation. However, taxes come into play upon selling or trading the gifted crypto. Inherited crypto is valued as of the testator’s date of death.
  • Forks, Airdrops, and Splits: Events like hard forks and airdrops may result in taxable income. Proper reporting is essential to account for these additional assets.
  • Crypto as Earned Income: Employees receiving cryptocurrency as wages should treat it as ordinary taxable income. Keeping a record of the fair market value on the payment date is essential for tax purposes.
  • Crypto Purchases: Using crypto for transactions triggers capital gains taxes. The gain or loss is determined by calculating the difference between what you paid and the original value of the crypto.

>> Seeking Crypto Tax Advice or Assistance? Check out our Tax Resources for Crypto Investors.

Reporting Your Crypto Holdings

Simplify the tax filing process with these steps:

  • Record Transactions: Maintain a detailed record, including dates, transaction summaries, and fair market values.
  • Complete Tax Forms: Meet deadlines by filing forms like IRS Form 8949, Form 1040 Schedule 1, Schedule C, and Schedule D.
  • Consider Professional Assistance: If tax terminology feels overwhelming, seek guidance from a qualified tax advisor who stays abreast of the latest IRS rules.

Minimizing Your Crypto Tax Burden

While each person’s financial situation is different, these tactics have been found helpful in reducing the tax burden of many crypto users: 

  • Hold for the Long Term: Instead of seeking quick gains, consider holding onto your assets for at least a year to benefit from lower long-term capital gains rates.
  • Invest through Retirement Plans: Investigate crypto-backed retirement portfolios, offering tax advantages comparable to traditional IRAs.
  • Donate to Charity: Contributing crypto to nonprofits not only supports worthwhile causes but also reduces your tax liability. These donations are not only tax-deductible but also exempt from capital gains tax.

In crypto we get so many opportunities to succeed, sometimes overnight! It only seems right to spread those opportunities to causes that matter.


NFT Creator & Crypto Donor

The Tax Benefits of Donating Crypto

There’s no question that donating crypto is a more tax-efficient way of giving than donating cash. If you pay taxes in the US, donating appreciated crypto is easy, secure and just a little bit thrilling.

Imagine this scenario: you purchased Bitcoin, Ethereum or Solana during the low of a bear market, and now it’s gained 100% or more in value. If you’re ready to sell it and enjoy your gains, you’re bound to owe those capital gains taxes.

This is where donating crypto has major benefits for crypto investors. Because the IRS treats crypto as a property for tax purposes, you do not owe capital gains on appreciated cryptocurrency that you donate. On top of that, you would also be able to write off the donation as a charitable contribution.

While the amounts will vary for each individual, donating crypto can lower your tax burden significantly. This leaves you with more to donate to the cause of your choice, too.

As you estimate your gains and losses toward the end of each year, donating crypto should be considered as part of your financial strategy for minimizing your tax burden while giving back.

Estimate Your Potential Savings: Interested in estimating your potential tax savings? Try our Crypto Donation Tax Savings Calculator Tool for a personalized assessment.

Elevating Your Financial Strategy through Strategic Crypto Donations

By directing your crypto donations toward causes that resonate with you, you’re not just impacting the world positively, you’re also unlocking a door that can ease your tax burden substantially. 

Whether you’re racing to meet the 12/31 tax deadline for charitable contributions or just want to use your crypto to make a difference, The Giving Block can help. 

Search and filter through thousands of charitable organizations and find a cause that matters to you on our donation marketplace.

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