Crypto And The Wash Sale Rule (2023 Update)

Freddy King

Written by Freddy King, Reviewed by David Canedo, CPA

Apr 13, 2023

As a crypto investor, you're probably well aware of the confusing tax regulations concerning digital assets. The wash sale rule is no exception. In this article, we explain the wash sale rule and how it applies to cryptocurrencies. Can this IRS regulation affect your crypto trading and tax optimization strategy? Additionally, we break down how crypto tax software like Accointing can help crypto investors stay compliant.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2023

The Wash Sale Rule Explained

The wash sale rule is a tax law that applies in traditional finance to investors who buy and sell securities like stocks or bonds. The purpose of the wash sale rule is to prevent investors from generating artificial losses for tax purposes by selling securities to create a capital loss that can offset other gains.

Under the wash sale rule, if an investor sells a security at a capital loss and then buys the same or a substantially identical security within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss is disallowed for tax purposes. This means that the investor cannot claim the loss on their taxes and must adjust the cost basis of the new security to reflect the disallowed loss.

How Does The Wash Sale Rule Affect Crypto Investors?

As of now, the wash sale rule does not have a specific provision for digital assets. However, legislators are actively working on enforcing the wash sale rule for crypto assets and closing this loophole. Therefore, investors need to stay updated on the latest developments and comply with the rules to avoid potential penalties and legal issues.

The wash sale rule could have a significant impact on the tax liabilities of crypto investors. This would mean that if an investor sells a digital asset at a loss and buys the same or a substantially identical asset within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss may be disallowed for tax purposes. This means that the investor cannot offset gains from other investments with the disallowed loss, resulting in a higher tax liability.

For example, if an investor buys 1 Bitcoin for $10,000 and then sells it for $9,000, they have incurred a loss of $1,000. If the investor then buys another Bitcoin within 30 days of the sale for $9,500, the loss is disallowed, and the cost basis of the new Bitcoin is adjusted to $10,500.

A future crypto wash sale rule could limit investors' ability to manage their portfolios effectively. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and frequently traded, and the 30-day window for the wash sale rule can make it challenging for investors to make necessary trades without triggering the rule.

Will the Wash Sale Rule Apply to Crypto in the Future?

At present, the wash sale rule doesn’t apply to cryptocurrency. However, lawmakers have recognized that this loophole for crypto investors leads to a significant loss of tax revenue and are exploring ways to address it. The Biden administration’s 2024 Budget includes a provision to have the wash sale rule include cryptocurrency.

While the exact of the timing of the applicability of the wash sale rule remains unknown at the moment, it is clear that this has been a crypto tax loophole in the radar of regulators that will get closed in a matter of time. The proposed change to the wash sale rule highlights the significance of crypto investors keeping up-to-date with any updates to tax laws and regulations.

How Can Accointing Help With Crypto Taxes?

Accointing is a comprehensive tool that can help crypto investors optimize trades and manage their tax obligations effectively. Here's why using Accointing to help report crypto taxes is a good idea:

Easy Integration with Multiple Exchanges and Wallets

Accointing offers 400+ integrations across exchanges, wallets, blockchains, and services. By connecting their accounts to Accointing, investors can automatically import all their transactions, eliminating the need to enter each transaction manually. This is particularly important because it can be challenging to track trades and avoid triggering the wash sale rule when trading frequently or using different platforms, especially if legislation is introduced in the future, subjecting crypto to this rule.

First-in-Class Crypto Portfolio Tracking & Insights Tool

Take control of your crypto data with our crypto portfolio tracking and insights tool. Accointing's portfolio dashboard provides you with a comprehensive view of your transactions and your entire crypto portfolio in one place. The dashboard summarizes buy and sell dates, net profit, and overall gains, allowing you to track their holdings in real-time.

Accurate Calculation of Cost Basis and Capital Gains/Losses

Calculating the cost basis and capital gains/losses for cryptocurrency transactions can be challenging. However, Accointing has a crypto tax calculator that automatically calculates these values based on the preferred tax method (FIFO, LIFO, and HIFO).

Additional Tax Tools

Accointing offers a Trading Tax Optimizer that predicts the tax implications of trades before executing them. Also, the Tax Loss Harvesting Tool identifies unrealized losses in portfolios, allowing investors to offset their capital gains. With these tools, you can rest assured that you have maximized your tax deductions.

Generation of Tax Reports

Accointing generates fully compliant Crypto Tax Reports that include a summary of all taxable trades and income, supplementary files such as Form 8949 in both PDF and CSV formats, gains and losses CSV files, a daily balance report, and import files for tax tools such as TurboTax.

Professional Tax Help

You can also connect with a tax professional deeply experienced with cryptocurrency and the Accointing software. Our trusted professionals can help you calculate your crypto gains and taxable income, prepare your US tax return from start to finish, unlock tax saving strategies and minimize your bill, and respond to an IRS audit or secure an IRS payment plan if you can’t pay your bill.

Dedicated Customer Support

Accointing offers dedicated customer support via email, live chat, or the help center to help investors with any issues or questions about the platform or their crypto taxes

Main Takeaways

  • Crypto traders must stay updated on the latest developments in tax laws regarding the wash sale rule.
  • This rule was originally designed for traditional securities, but it may soon apply to digital currencies as well.
  • Failing to comply with tax laws can result in penalties and legal issues, making it crucial for investors to use crypto tax software like Accointing.

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