How to Answer the IRS Question on Digital Assets in 2023?

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You may have to answer the IRS question on digital assets in 2023 as the IRS has expanded its scrutiny of digital assets. They have done this by incorporating a specific question about them on several key tax forms used by individuals and various types of entities. This step underscores the growing importance of understanding and accurately reporting digital asset transactions in compliance with federal tax obligations. Here’s what you need to know about the new IRS requirements and how to respond correctly on your tax returns.

What’s New in 2023?

The IRS question on digital assets, which appeared on individual tax returns in 2022, has now been extended to forms covering partnerships, corporations, S corporations, and estates and trusts. The question is aimed at capturing all forms of income from digital assets, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The specific question asked on these forms is: “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)?”

Understanding Digital Assets

Before answering, it’s crucial to understand what the IRS considers a digital asset. Digital assets are digital representations of value that are recorded on a cryptographically secured, distributed ledger, or similar technology. This includes:

  • Convertible virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies.
  • Stablecoins.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Who Needs to Answer?

Everyone filing Forms 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1041, 1065, 1120, and 1120-S must answer this question, whether or not they actively engaged in digital asset transactions during the year. This broad requirement ensures that the IRS captures all potential taxable activities involving digital assets.

When to Check ‘Yes’

You should check “Yes” if in 2023 you:

  • Received digital assets as payment for services or property.
  • Earned digital assets through mining, staking, or similar activities.
  • Benefited from digital assets due to a hard fork.
  • Traded, sold, or otherwise disposed of digital assets.

For example, if you are a freelancer and were paid in Bitcoin for a project, or if you sold an NFT on a marketplace, you need to check “Yes.”

How to Report Digital Asset Income

After checking “Yes,” you must also report the income associated with these transactions. If you sold digital assets, you would need to calculate capital gains or losses using Form 8949 and report this on Schedule D (Form 1040). If you received digital assets as wages or as an independent contractor, this income should be reported on your Form 1040 or Schedule C, respectively.

When to Check ‘No’

If your activities were limited to purchasing digital assets with U.S. dollars, holding them in a wallet or account, or transferring them between accounts you own, you can safely check “No.” These activities are not considered taxable events.


The IRS is significantly tightening the reporting requirements for digital assets. Understanding how to correctly answer the digital asset question and accurately report associated income is crucial for avoiding potential penalties and ensuring compliance with U.S. tax laws. Always consider consulting with a tax professional if you’re unsure about your specific situation.

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