Does Coinbase Report to the IRS?

Andrew Perlin
ByAndrew Perlin, CPAUpdated on December 29, 2022 · minute read

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  • Yes, Coinbase reports to the IRS. It sends Forms 1099-MISC to the IRS for U.S. traders who made more than $600 in crypto rewards or staking. $600 is the Coinbase IRS reporting threshold for tax year 2022.

  • Regardless of whether you receive Coinbase tax documents, U.S. citizens need to report all crypto earnings on your tax returns.

How are my Coinbase transactions taxed?

Does Coinbase report to the IRS? Yes. Currently Coinbase IRS reporting includes forms 1099-MISC for users who are U.S. traders who made more than $600 from crypto rewards or staking in the 2022 tax year. Note that these tax forms do not report capital gains or losses.

See our article on how to report cryptocurrencies on taxes for more general information.

What information does Coinbase send to the IRS?

Coinbase and Coinbase Pro send two copies of each cryptocurrency tax form: One to the taxpayer and one to the IRS. Thus, if you have received a Coinbase 1099, so has the IRS—and they’ll expect you to file taxes on your cryptocurrency income.

Note: In 2022, Coinbase began to sunset Coinbase Pro and move those features to Coinbase Advanced under the same account.

Gain/loss report

The Coinbase 1099 tax document does not report crypto capital gains or losses, but that doesn't mean you don't need to report them. A Coinbase 1099 signals to the IRS that a user is actively trading crypto and may have transactions other than rewards or staking to report. Coinbase and Coinbase Pro do have a gain/loss report but does not report your gains or losses to the IRS.

Raw transaction report

Coinbase does not provide a raw transaction report to the IRS. That said, you can access your raw transaction report via Coinbase and Coinbase Taxes, with a range of available gain/loss reports. Raw Coinbase transaction history can be found through custom reports.

What does the IRS do with tax documents?

In recent years, the IRS has increased their crypto tax audits and enforcement. They are sending letters 6173, 6174, and 6174-A or even CP2000 notices. 2022 tax year 1099-K and 1099-MISC data help the IRS identify filers who may be failing to report or under-reporting.

What are 1099 forms?

A 1099 tax form is a record that an entity or person who is not your employer has paid or given you money. Here are three common 1099 forms:

  • Form 1099-K: This form is commonly used by credit/debit card networks and other payment settlement networks. The form shows the IRS the transaction volume of processed payments.

  • Form 1099-MISC: This form is used to report ‘miscellaneous’ income to the IRS. Rewards from referrals and staking would fall into this ‘miscellaneous’ category.

  • Form 1099-B: This form is used to share information about property/security disposals made through a broker. You may be familiar with this form if you’ve used stock exchanges like Robinhood or E-Trade.

What do I need to do if I receive a 1099-MISC from Coinbase?

The 1099-MISC doesn’t report individual transactions from staking or rewards, just your total income from them. You are required to report the details—as well as any crypto capital gains, losses, or ordinary income from any exchange—in order to calculate your crypto taxes. A crypto tax calculator can help with this. For more information on the 1099-MISC visit our post about cryptocurrency Form 1099s.

2022 1099-MISC

Why did Coinbase switch from Form 1099-K to Form 1099-MISC?

Before 2021, Coinbase sent Forms 1099-K. However, because Form 1099-K reports the aggregate amount of crypto involved in an individual’s trades, rather than the net profits or loss, it was easy for transactions that ultimately represented a loss to be interpreted as generating revenue.

1099-K form example

For example, imagine you purchased a token for $1.00, but sold it later in the same year for only 75 cents. Despite the fact that this series of transactions represented a 25 cent loss, $1.75 would be reported as part of the amount on the 1099-K.

This situation can lead to confusion at the IRS. Agents sometimes interpret 1099-K calculations as crypto traders’ profits, rather than their trades’ volume. This may result in the IRS sending CP2000 letters, which inform filers they may have significantly under-reported their income on their tax filings. To address such misunderstandings usually requires the intervention of a crypto CPA.

Although IRS misinterpretations of the 1099-K are typically resolved, their effect on customers was burdensome enough to prompt Coinbase and some other crypto exchanges to stop sending these tax forms.

Does Coinbase send a 1099-B?

The short answer is: no. At time of writing, Coinbase only reports Form 1099-MISC to the IRS. This information is subject to change, so be certain to look out for updates from Coinbase and Coinbase Pro (soon to be Coinbase Advanced).

Accessing your Coinbase tax documents

Even if you don't receive a 1099-MISC from Coinbase, you need to report any income or capital gains/losses you've realized on the exchange. Many crypto tax calculators, TokenTax included, can sync to Coinbase via API so that transaction history is automatically imported and updated.

However, if you need to download a copy of your transaction history for record-keeping or your accountant, you can do so by visiting the Taxes section of your account. Here you can download gain/loss reports and raw transaction history CSVs. You can also see if Coinbase has issued any forms about you to the IRS.

Coinbase tax reports

Frequently asked questions 

Here are some common FAQs related to Coinbase IRS reporting, the Coinbase 1099, and Coinbase taxes and tax documents. These apply to both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro.

Do I pay taxes on Coinbase transactions?

Yes, you must pay the appropriate taxes on Coinbase transactions. Our crypto tax software makes reporting Coinbase taxes easy.

Will Coinbase send me a 1099? 

$600 is the current Coinbase IRS reporting threshold. Currently Coinbase sends form 1099-MISC for users who are U.S. traders who made more than $600 from crypto rewards or staking in the last tax year. You can also access Coinbase tax documents through the Coinbase mobile app.

H3 Do all crypto exchanges report to the IRS? 

No, every cryptocurrency exchange does not report to the IRS. Many exchanges are based internationally and do not do business in the United States. That said, if you’re in the United States or are a United States citizen, you are responsible for reporting your crypto transactions to the IRS.

Can the IRS see my crypto wallet? 

Crypto wallets interact with publicly visible blockchains, so yes, the IRS can “see your crypto wallet.” That said, depending on the wallet and the nature of your transactions, it’s possible the IRS cannot correlate a specific wallet with you as a user. That noted, Coinbase runs a KYC (know your client) process, and analytics firms like Chainalysis have working partnerships with the Federal Government.

So it’s fair to assume you can’t (and obviously should not) “hide” your crypto transactions from the IRS, as of course you need an on- and off-ramp to bring fiat into and out of your crypto wallet. This is almost always done through a centralized exchange like Coinbase, which of course reports to the IRS.

What happens if you don't report Coinbase taxes?

If you don’t report Coinbase taxes, you could get in trouble with the IRS and receive a Failure to File penalty. This penalty begins at 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month (or part of a month) your tax return is late, not to exceed 25% of unpaid taxes. If the IRS determines an overt act of evasion occurred, willful failure to file could be treated as a felony. So you’ll definitely want to report Coinbase taxes.

How do I avoid Coinbase taxes?

A simple way to avoid Coinbase taxes is to purchase and hold without exchanging or selling. Other options to avoid or reduce your Coinbase taxes include:

  • Sell assets during a low income year

  • Donations to charity

  • Offset your gains with losses

Like any other income, however, if you have significant gains through Coinbase or Coinbase Pro, you’ll need to properly file them as part of your tax return. For more info on crypto tax basics, visit our Crypto Tax Guide.

To stay up to date on the latest, follow TokenTax on Twitter @tokentax.

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Andrew Perlin
Andrew PerlinAccounting at TokenTax
Andrew Perlin is a CPA specializing in crypto taxes. After working as a financial controller, he co-founded CryptoCPAs, which was acquired by TokenTax in 2018.

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