WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers that they must again answer a digital asset question and report all digital asset related income when they file their 2023 federal income tax return, as they did for their 2022 federal tax returns.
Depending on the form, the digital assets question asks this basic question, with appropriate variations tailored for corporate, partnership or estate and trust taxpayers:
At any time during 2023, did you: (a) receive (as a reward, award or payment for property or services); or (b) sell, exchange, or otherwise dispose of a digital asset (or a financial interest in a digital asset)?
What is a digital asset?
A digital asset is a digital representation of value that is recorded on a cryptographically secured, distributed ledger or any similar technology. Common digital assets include:
Convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Everyone must answer the question
Everyone who files Forms 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1041, 1065, 1120, 1120 and 1120S must check one box answering either “Yes” or “No” to the digital asset question. The question must be answered by all taxpayers, not just by those who engaged in a transaction involving digital assets in 2023.
When to check “Yes”
Normally, a taxpayer must check the “Yes” box if they:
Received digital assets as payment for property or services provided;
Received digital assets resulting from a reward or award;
Received new digital assets resulting from mining, staking and similar activities;
Received digital assets resulting from a hard fork (a branching of a cryptocurrency’s blockchain that splits a single cryptocurrency into two);
Disposed of digital assets in exchange for property or services;
Disposed of a digital asset in exchange or trade for another digital asset;
Sold a digital asset; or
Otherwise disposed of any other financial interest in a digital asset.
If an employee was paid with digital assets, they must report the value of assets received as wages. Similarly, if they worked as an independent contractor and were paid with digital assets, they must report that income on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship). Schedule C is also used by anyone who sold, exchanged or transferred digital assets to customers in connection with a trade or business.
When to check “No”
Normally, a taxpayer who merely owned digital assets during 2023 can check the “No” box as long as they did not engage in any transactions involving digital assets during the year. They can also check the “No” box if their activities were limited to one or more of the following:
Holding digital assets in a wallet or account;
Transferring digital assets from one wallet or account they own or control to another wallet or account they own or control; or
Purchasing digital assets using U.S. or other real currency, including through electronic platforms.
For a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other details, visit the Digital assets page on IRS.gov.
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