How Crypto Gifts Are Taxed

Crypto tax can get a little tricky when it comes to gifts. We explain how taxes work for both giving as well as receiving gifts of cryptocurrency.

Crypto Gift Tax: So your mysterious uncle gifted you some bitcoin…

If you receive crypto as a gift (cool!), receiving the crypto alone is not a taxable event, and you don’t recognize it as income. Rather you recognize any capital gains or losses on the asset when you sell it. 

  • If you sell the asset for a gain (i.e. more than the giver’s cost basis), then your cost basis for that sale is equal to the donor’s basis. 

  • If you sell the asset for a loss (i.e. less than the giver’s cost basis), then your cost basis is the lesser of either the donor’s cost basis or the fair market value at the time you received the crypto. 

  • If you don’t know the giver’s cost basis, then you must recognize $0 cost basis for the sale.

Your holding period (to determine short / long term gains) includes the holding time of the person who gave you the crypto. If you don’t know when they acquired the crypto, your holding period begins when you receive the gifted crypto.  

If you give a crypto gift to someone, then it is not a taxable event. However, make sure that they know your cost basis of the asset that you are giving to them. 

Be sure to includes gifts into your cryptocurrency tax software account, as it's necessary to account for assets received or given.

Charitable deduction for crypto donations

If you donate to a recognized charitable organization, then you are not liable for tax on the asset, and you can have a charitable deduction.

  • If you held the crypto given for over a year, then the deduction amount is equal to the fair market value of the crypto given.

  • If the crypto is held for under a year, then the deduction amount is the lesser of the crypto’s cost basis or fair market value.

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