As a cryptocurrency miner, you may be earning big profits from mining, but as with any business venture, there are taxes to consider. Fortunately, the IRS offers several tax deductions for crypto miners that you can take advantage of. Let’s take a walk through the world of crypto tax deductions and see how you can use them to maximize your profit.
Important: The IRS treats tax deductions for crypto mining differently depending on whether you’re mining as a business or as a hobby.
If you’re mining as a hobby, you can only deduct expenses up to the level of your mining income. This is known as the "hobby loss rule" and prevents people from deducting losses from a hobby.
On the other hand, for legitimate businesses, there is no limit to how much in expenses you can deduct, as long as the expenses are reasonably related to earning business income.
Typically, the expense of your mining machinery (including ASIC miners, graphics cards, cooling equipment, power supplies, etc.) may be eligible for a tax write-off during the year of acquisition under Section 179. Should the amount of your mining machinery deduction via Section 179 surpass $2.7 million, you have the option to depreciate the equipment's cost annually.
Alternatively, you may opt to capitalize the costs and depreciate them over time, meaning you can deduct a portion of the equipment cost each year based on the expected lifetime of the equipment. This can help you avoid fluctuating taxable income and tax burdens year-to-year. However, if equipment is idle or used for personal use, depreciation deductions are not allowed. See the IRS’ FAQ on depreciation.
It’s no secret that crypto mining requires a substantial amount of energy – so much so that the White House is advocating for a punitive tax where miners would pay an amount equal to 30% of their energy costs.
Fortunately, the cost of electricity needed to power the mining equipment can generally be deducted as business expenses. You must keep records of your electricity bills and mining usage. This could be notes on the hours your mining rig was operating or separate meters if you have them.
Repairs and maintenance costs
You can’t deduct routine costs like cleaning your equipment, but costs for repairs and maintenance that extend the useful life or improve the value of your equipment can be deducted.
Costs can only be deducted in the year they are incurred. If you pay in one year for a multi-year maintenance contract, only the portion applicable to the current year can be deducted.
Rent for data center space
Has the cost of power driven you to rent space in a data center where electricity costs less? If used exclusively and regularly for your mining business, you can deduct the cost of rent. This deduction is not affected by whether you own or lease your mining equipment. The data center space deduction is separate from any deductions or capitalization of equipment costs.
If you run a mining operation from your home, you’ll likely qualify for a deduction based on the portion of your home that’s being used exclusively for mining purposes.
Costs to construct a mining farm
Are you eyeing a piece of land near a hydroelectric dam to take your mining business to an industrial scale?
Land purchases or leasing costs can be deducted or depreciated over time. The same goes for construction costs like materials and labor to build out the space. These costs must be ordinary and necessary expenses for your mining operation i.e. appropriately scaled for your business and not excessive.
Any other costs that are ordinary, necessary, and directly related
As long as you can show proof that the costs were for valid business purposes, many other types of expenses may be deductible. Taking out insurance for your operation? Deductible. Conducting a mandatory environmental impact study before you can break ground on your mining farm? Deductible. Hiring security guards to protect your operation's equipment? Deductible.
Keep good records to support your deductions
Without proper records, your deductions may be disallowed. The key is to keep complete, accurate, and consistent records that separate your mining activities from personal finances. The IRS can audit your tax return and ask for proof of the expenses you deducted.
Besides, good records makes it easy to track the profitability of your mining activities and makes tax filing easier.
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