I’ve been working with IRAs in the alternative investment space for over ten years. When I first started investing in Crypto in early 2017, I quickly realized there was a problem. Like many, I was very excited about this incredible new market and jumped in headfirst. I was buying, selling, and swapping from one Crypto to another and moving assets between exchanges.  

Problem

Being in the IRA space with a good understanding of investment tax laws, I knew I had created a big problem for myself. Every time I made a move, I was creating a taxable event. All kinds of tracking and calculations would be needed to report and pay my taxes accurately. Worse than the tracking nightmare was the actual taxes. Time to say goodbye to a large portion of my gains!

Solution

When thinking of this tangled web I had to deal with, I thought, “I wish I could do all of this Crypto investing and trading within my IRA, it would solve all the issues.”  

When investing through an IRA

  1. Tax-Free trades: Buy and sell as often as you want without creating a taxable event.
  2. No tracking: No taxable events mean no complex tracking needed.
  3. Compounding gains: Realized gains roll over year over year within the account. Sorry, IRS…NOT sorry! 
  4. Tax-advantaged growth: Tax-deferred or tax-free distributions depending on the type of IRA.

When investing outside of an IRA

  1. Taxable trades: Every sale for a profit creates a capital gain tax; if the position is held for less than 1-year, it is short term capital gains, and if held for over 1-year, it is long term capital gains. 
  2. All movements must be tracked: Every buy, sell, and swap must be tracked accurately. If buying the same asset at different times and price points, a cost basis needs to be established for proper reporting.
  3. IRS payments: All realized gains are taxed on a yearly basis. This reduces your available capital to make future investments.  

Final thoughts

The IRS is taking notice of this new asset class and is stepping up efforts to enforce it’s tax laws. We’ve all heard the stories of IRS letters going out to Crypto investors and the new questions added to tax forms. Investing and trading Crypto through an IRA will prevent you from having to deal with any of this and allow you to keep more of your profits in your pocket.

As the saying goes, “It’s not what you make; it’s what you keep!”

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed financial or tax advisor — consult with your financial/tax professional to determine what is best for you.