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Author Topic: Bitcoin - Capital Losses in US  (Read 809 times)
virtualfaqs
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December 18, 2013, 10:28:20 AM
 #1

Let me know if I have this right for US Tax laws.

Anyone who sold $1000USD/BTC and rebought at $800USD/BTC needs to sell again before end of Dec 31 to recognize Capital losses. If they don't sell before Dec 31, then they'll be forced to pay taxes on $1000 USD/BTC capital gains and will only be able to deduct $3000 capital losses once per year starting next year.

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December 18, 2013, 11:19:27 AM
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It's much more complicated than that, and I am not a lawyer or accountant, so I can not, and am not providing any kind of legal or financial advice here, but instead providing general US information that can be verified in IRS publication 17, and/or could be common knowledge to anyone who had stock investments if it weren't for everyone being conditioned to believe they need someone else to file their taxes along with the proliferation of free tax preparation for most individuals making the calculations automatic with no understanding necessary (I say this because tax forms used to come with detailed line by line instructions, and anyone who filled them out could understand by looking at the required math and included tables if they wanted to, of course I may be giving our education system a bit too much credit):

1) When you receive an asset, the current USD value of that asset is income, and your cost basis.
2) When you sell an asset, you have realaized a gain or loss (selling price minus cost basis).
3) Realized gains are always taxed at capital rates (rate depends on income and how long you held the asset).
4) Realized losses are only considered when assets were for investment and not personal use.

I can't speak to the legal purpose of my fourth note above, but it keeps personal taxes simple because most personal assets (like cars, furniture, tv, etc) lose value (note that I didn't realize personal assets were considered capital until doing some research noted below), so most people never have to mess with reporting assets unless they are investing (where they would now get a form 1099-B showing them everything their bank has already told the IRS).

It is very interesting to me that so many people have capital gains questions (vs what is bitcoin for tax purposes questions), because it shows just how many people jumped in feet first.  Note that I jumped in feet first early on and quickly realized I was being stupid by being scared of the stock market and not scared of bitcoin, and that one should be safer going long term in the stock market vs bitcoin (granted bitcoin was and still is like lottery tickets, which are much more appealing to the masses), so being in the stock market and wanting to understand my own taxes is how I gathered my understanding of points 2 and 3 mentioned above.  Additional research / reading in pub 17 and elsewhere is responsible for me even being aware of point 1, and I also would have thought point 4 (sans personal use information) was part of point 3 if not for said research.
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