A worsening macroeconomic climate and the collapse of industry giants like FTX and Terra have weighed on bitcoin’s price this year.
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One of the silver linings of plummeting assets is the chance to leverage tax-loss harvesting, or using losses to offset gains.
If you sold crypto at a loss, you can subtract that from other portfolio profits, and once losses exceed gains, you can trim up to $3,000 from regular income, explained Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant and tax expert with TurboTax.
Plus, there’s currently no “wash sale rule” for crypto. The rule blocks the tax break if you buy a “substantially identical” asset 30 days before or after the sale.
If your crypto losses exceed other investment gains and $3,000 of regular income, you can use the rest in subsequent years, Greene-Lewis said. But it’s easy to lose track of carryover losses and miss future opportunities to lower taxes, she warned.
CPA and tax attorney Andrew Gordon, president of Gordon Law Group, said there are typically two concerns: possibly claiming a loss for missing deposits and reporting income from rewards or interest.
In some cases, you may be able to claim a capital loss, or bad debt deduction, and write off what you spent on the asset. But it must be a “complete loss” to claim it, Gordon said. If you wind up getting, say, 10% back after claiming a bad debt deduction, that 10% becomes regular income.
While there are several options for 2022, he’s generally telling clients to “wait and see” what happens. “It may make sense to file an extension if you had significant holdings on any of these platforms to see if there’s further clarity,” he said.
“The IRS has over five years of information on taxpayers,” Losi said, so if they find out you have crypto and you haven’t been reporting, you may be targeted, he said.