Crypto Tax Timeline

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except: death, taxes, and bitcoin.
This page tracks the complete history of cryptocurrency taxes. Please submit any developments, or tips to be added here.

October, 2008

Bitcoin Whitepaper Published

Satoshi Nakamoto introduces a peer-to-peer electronic cash remittance mechanism which allows online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

January, 2009

First Bitcoin Transaction

The first BTC transaction occurred on January 12, 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto sent 50 BTC to Hal Finney in block 170 of the transaction. The cost of the transaction is 0 BTC.

May, 2010

The infamous Bitcoin 🍕 Transaction

A guy buys two pizzas for 10,000 BTC ($25 at the time, over $100M in today’s value).

April, 2014

IRS Issues The Very First Cryptocurrency Tax Guidance 🎉

The IRS decides to treat convertible cryptocurrencies as “property” for tax purposes. From this point on, taxpayers are expected to apply all “general rules” applicable to property transactions to crypto.

June, 2016

AICPA Comment Letter On IRS Notice 2014-21 (#1)

The AICPA applauds the IRS’s work on issuing Notice 2014-21 and points out 10 issue items not covered in the notice. Issue items are around valuation & documentation for crypto, mining cost (expensing vs. capitalizing), tax lot ID method, like-kind exchange treatment, nature of crypto held by a merchant, charitable donations, commodity tax rules, de minimis election under 988(e)(2), retirement accounts and foreing reporting requirement.

December, 2017

Bitcoin Nears $20,000, All Time High Price

A new wave of investors come into the crypto space as bitcoin and other alt coins reach their all time high values.

May, 2018

AICPA Updated Comment Letter On IRS 2014-21 (#2)

After two years from the issuance of Comment letter #1, the AICPA writes an updated comment letter on the original crypto guidance.

September, 2018

Kevin Brady Letter To The IRS

A letter from the US House of Representatives, signed by Kevin Brady (Chairman of Ways and Means Committee) and 4 other congressmen, criticises the IRS for conducting enforcement actions (ex:- Coinbase John Doe Summons) without issuing clear guidance on crypto taxation. These congressmen also asked the Government Accountability Office(GAO) to look further into the issue and audit the IRS’s effort in setting up crypto tax guidance.

April, 2019

Bipartisan Letter To The IRS Signed by 21 Representatives

21 representatives send a bipartisan letter to the IRS requesting clear guidance on three virtual currency related tax issues: acceptable method for calculating cost basis, FIFO vs. Specific Identification & tax treatment for forks.

May, 2019

FinCEN Issues Guidance On Virtual Currency

FinCEN describes how their rules should be applied to various business models which use convertible virtual currencies.

July, 2019

IRS Sends Out Tax Notices For 10,000 US Crypto Tax Holders

IRS sends out three types of tax notices: Letter 6173 , Letter 6174 , Letter 6174-A to 10,000 taxpayers alerting them to report crypto back taxes.

October, 2019

IRS Updates Cryptocurrency Guidance After 5 Years

IRS releases 43 FAQs along with Rev. Rul. 2019-24 to address questions lingering in the space since the issuance of Notice 2014-21 in 2014. The Revenue ruling brings clarity to forks and airdrops for the first time.

December, 2019

A Letter Directed To The IRS by 8 Congressmen Highlights Deficiencies Of October, 2019 Guidance

This letter demands the IRS to further clarify forks and airdrop taxation, define dominion of control and ask whether 2019 guidance is effective retrospectively or not.

December, 2019

IRS Adds “Crypto Question” to Schedule 1

For the first time, the IRS tax form asks US taxpayers "at anytime during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?"

December, 2019

IRS Adds 2 More Q&A On Crypto

IRS expands initial 43 FAQs issued on October, 2019 by adding Q35 and Q36 which address crypto currency donations.

December, 2019

Crypto Reporting Guidance For Accountants

The AICPA releases Accounting for and Auditing of Digital Assets practice to help accountants with cryptocurrency financial reporting issues.

January, 2020

Proposal on How to Tax Staking Income

The IRS has not addressed how staking income should be taxed. It could be taxed at the time of the receipt or when the tokens are sold. This proposal brings up good points.

January, 2020

Wall Street Blockchain Alliance (WSBA) Comment Letter

WSBA also sends a comment letter to the IRS asking for more clairy on topics covered in October guidance.

January, 2020

NY Bar Association Comment Letter To The IRS

This letter also asks clarity on common issues related to foreing reporting, forks, airdrops & valuation.

February, 2020

IRS Deletes Gaming Tokens From The Virtual Currency Explanation

The inclusion of gaming tokens such as V-bucks and Roblox under the virtual currencies definition on the IRS website gets media attention. Then, the IRS quietly deletes these tokens from the website.

February, 2020

GAO Issues A Report on IRS’s Crypto Tax Strategy

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviews IRS’s efforts in the crypto tax space and issues, “Virtual Currencies: Additional Information Reporting and Clarified Guidance Could Improve Tax Compliance”. The report recommends 3 action items to the IRS 1 to the FinCen.


February, 2020

AICPA Comment Letter On Rev.Rul. 2019-24 & Schedule 1 Crypto Question (#3)

In this letter, AICPA asks the IRS to clarify practical issues surrounding guidance issued in October. The AICPA also points out topics in the prior letters which were not addressed by the latest guidance.

March, 2020

IRS Holds a Virtual Currency Summit

The service talks to the crypto industry stakeholders (exchanges, tax practitioners, advocacy groups, media, ec.) about crypto tax issues and related challenges in an invite-only event held in DC. The goal of the summit is to get to know more about this emmergin space and come up with practical compliance solutions.

March, 2020

IRS extends Federal Tax Deadline to July 15, 2020

COVID-19 hits the US economy. The IRS extends the tax deadline to July 15, 2020 for the first time in the history.