Michelle Legge
By Michelle LeggeHead of Crypto Tax Education
Updated Feb 2, 2024
This article has been fact checked and reviewed as per our editorial policy.

How Are Bitcoin IRAs Taxed?

Bitcoin IRAs and crypto IRAs offer tax benefits to US investors. They can help you reduce your tax bill in the short term and work as the ultimate hodling tool in the long term. Let's find out how Bitcoin IRAs work from a tax perspective.

  • Bitcoin IRAs can help you optimize and potentially reduce your Capital Gains Tax bill.

  • Tax on Bitcoin IRAs depends on the specific type of IRA you have and whether it’s a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.

  • Contributions to traditional Bitcoin IRAs are tax deductible (up to a certain limit). You’ll pay tax when you withdraw at the point of retirement though.

  • Contributions to Roth Bitcoin IRAs are not tax deductible, but you won’t pay any tax at the point of withdrawal.

Completely lost on Bitcoin IRAs? We've got a guide to Bitcoin IRAs, how they work, and the best Bitcoin IRAs to check out.

Bitcoin IRA taxes

Bitcoin IRAs come with significant tax benefits. But you need to have a good understanding of US crypto taxes and the different types of IRA accounts available to capitalize on these. So let’s break it down.

The IRS views crypto as property - this means in most instances it will be subject to Capital Gains Tax, like other properties such as stocks. When you sell, spend or trade crypto - you’ll normally pay Capital Gains Tax on any profit (capital gain). In addition to this, some crypto transactions - like mining or staking crypto - are subject to Income Tax.

But this isn’t the case when it comes to Bitcoin IRAs. The taxation on your Bitcoin IRA depends on the kind of IRA you have.

An infographic highlighting information on IRS taxation, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax software

Traditional Bitcoin IRA tax

Your contributions to a traditional crypto IRA are most often tax deductible. This means crypto held within your IRA isn't subject to Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax. Contributions to your traditional IRA are also tax deductible - up to a certain limit. So, you can reduce your tax bill by deducting traditional IRA contributions each year. You’ll pay no tax on your crypto in a Traditional IRA until you withdraw your funds - at which point you’ll pay Income Tax. Of course, as it’s at the age of retirement - you’ll likely pay a significantly lower Income Tax rate than you pay currently.

Roth Bitcoin IRA tax

A Roth IRA is a specific product where you won’t pay any tax when you withdraw your funds at the point of retirement. Like the above, you'll pay no Capital Gains Tax or Income Tax on crypto held within a Roth IRA. However this comes with a caveat, crypto you invest into a Roth IRA is not tax deductible - so you can't reduce your tax bill each year by contributing to your Roth IRA.

An infographic comparing the traditional IRA vs Roth IRA, presented by Koinly, a crypto tax software

Traditional Bitcoin IRA vs Roth Bitcoin IRA - Which is better?

There’s no right or wrong IRA to pick. It all depends on whether you want to take advantage of tax benefits now or enjoy tax-free withdrawals in the future. Both types of IRA accounts have a maximum contribution limit of $6,000 a year ($7,000 if you’re aged 50+). Traditional IRAs are better suited for those who expect to be in the same or a lower tax bracket at the point of retirement, while Roth IRAs are better suited to individuals who expect to be in a higher tax bracket at the point of retirement.

Make crypto tax simple

Crypto tax can be complicated, but Koinly makes it simple by automating the entire process for you, letting you keep track of your potential tax liability.

All you need to do is sync the wallets and exchanges you use with Koinly using either API or by importing CSV files of your transaction history. Koinly will then calculate your capital gains, losses, and any crypto income and expenses and calculate your crypto taxes for you. You can find a simple summary of your crypto taxes on the tax summary page, as well as download pre-filled crypto tax reports including IRS Form 8949 and Schedule D, the TurboTax report, and the Tax Act report.

Banner with Koinly logo and text: Get Your Crypto Tax Report

The information on this website is for general information only. It should not be taken as constituting professional advice from Koinly. Koinly is not a financial adviser. You should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. Koinly is not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information provided directly or indirectly, by use of this website.