Important Crypto Virtual Currency Update
The IRS has issued guidance on the federal income tax treatment of hard forks (protocol changes to cryptocurrency that result in a permanent diversion from the legacy distributed ledger) and airdrops (distributions of cryptocurrency to multiple taxpayers’ distributed ledger addresses). According to the agency, a taxpayer doesn’t have gross income as a result of a hard fork if he or she doesn’t receive units of a new cryptocurrency. However, a taxpayer will recognize ordinary income as a result of an airdrop following a hard fork if he or she receives units of new cryptocurrency. The IRS also has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that covers other virtual currency topics, such as methods for calculating and assigning cost basis, the tax consequences of a soft fork, and receiving virtual currency as a gift. The FAQs are available at www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/frequently-asked-questions-on-virtual-currency-transactions . Rev. Rul. 2019-24 .