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Foreign Filing Requirements for US Cryptocurrency Investors

Shehan Chandrasekera, CPA

Oct 25, 2019 • 5 MIN READ

Last Updated: October 14, 2020

Foreign tax filing requirements are one of the most often overlooked compliance items by cryptocurrency taxpayers. These are actually some of the most important forms to ensure US taxpayers get right, because a misstep can result in hefty fines and significant jail time. In this post we’ll explain the various foreign filing requirements: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) & Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and how CoinTracker can help you with them.

What the F … BAR?

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is United States Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat financial crimes. They have a form called FBAR (aka FinCEN Form 114) for American taxpayers who have a financial interest in foreign financial accounts.

On November 13, 2019, Carole House (from FinCEN) confirmed at AICPA in Washington DC that FBAR is not required for cryptocurrency.

FATCA (IRS Form 8938)

FATCA stands for Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act. In order to comply with this act, you may also have to file IRS Form 8938 (in addition to the FBAR). Your filing requirement may vary depending on your filing status, thresholds and other criteria. However, the general rule is that if you have assets (including cryptocurrencies) in a foreign exchange and the total value of those assets exceeds $50,000 ($100,000 if married filing jointly) on the last day of the tax year or $75,000 ($150,000 if married filing jointly) at any time during the year, you may have a filing obligation.

For example, at any time during 2020, even if for five minutes, you had cryptocurrency worth $75,000 in Binance.com, you may have a FATCA filing obligation. This can also be spread across multiple accounts (e.g. $5,00 in USDT on Binance.com, $5,000 in BTC on Binance.com, $5,000 on Bitfinex and $60,000 in JPY in a Japanese Bank). Since the aggregate value of all foreign accounts (crypto and fiat) are more than $75,000, all four accounts will be subject to the FATCA filing requirement.

The IRS has not issued clear guidance on whether or not FATCA is required for cryptocurrency. Therefore, if you fall into the thresholds, the conservative approach is to simply file (it is information only — no extra taxes are due).

How CoinTracker Can Help You with Foreign Tax Filing

Cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile so it is extremely difficult to manually track the highest USD fair market value in ever foreign exchange in any given year for every coin in a taxpayer’s portfolio. Luckily, CoinTracker automatically calculates the maximum value and end of year value of each of your foreign cryptocurrency accounts under the “Foreign Accounts” section of the Tax Page (with a Premium or higher tax plan). You can use this information to complete IRS Form 8938.

Addresses of Foreign Cryptocurrency Exchanges

To make your life easier on the FATCA form, we have tabulated the addresses of common foreign exchanges to the best of our ability:

Bibox: https://www.bibox.com

Bibox Group Holdings Limited

Vistra Corporate Services Centre

Wickhams Cay II, Road Town, Tortola

VG1110

British Virgin Islands

Source

Binance: https://www.binance.com

Binance Markets Limited

3 Beeston Place

London, England, SW1W 0JJ

Source

Bitfinex: https://www.bitfinex.com

1308 Bank of America Tower, 13/F

12 Harcourt Road, Central

Hong Kong

Source

BitMEX: https://www.bitmex.com

Capital City, 2nd Floor

Independence Avenue P.O. Box 1008

Victoria, Seychelles

Source

Bitstamp: https://www.bitstamp.net

Bitstamp Ltd

5 New Street Square

London EC4A 3TW

United Kingdom

Source

BTC Markets: https://www.btcmarkets.net

179 Queen Street

Suite 3, Level 8

Melbourne, Victoria

Australia

Source

CEX: https://cex.io

One Canada Square

24th Floor

Canary Wharf, London

E14 5AB

United Kingdom

Source

CoinExchange (Closing down on December 1, 2019): https://www.coinexchange.io

Australia

CoinSpot: https://www.coinspot.com.au

114 William Street

Melbourne, Victoria

Australia

Source

Cryptopia (Closed as of May 15, 2019): https://www.cryptopia.co.nz

New Zealand

Gate: https://www.gate.io

P.O. Box 31119

Grand Pavilion, Hibiscus Way

802 West Bay Road

Grand Cayman KY1-1205

Cayman Islands

Source

HitBTC: https://hitbtc.com

Hit Solution Limited

Unit 19, 7/F

One Midtown No.11

Hoi Shing Road,

Tsuen Wan, New Territories

Hong Kong

Source

Huobi Global (not Huobi.com): https://www.hbg.com

Asia Square Tower 1

8 Marina View

Central Business District, 018961

Singapore

Source

KuCoin: https://www.kucoin.com

#01-03 Ascent

20 Science Park Road

Singapore

Source

Liqui (shut down on January 28, 2019): https://liqui.io

Quoine

2-2-1 Kyobashi

Chuoku, Tokyo

104-0031

Japan

Source

OKEx: https://www.okex.com

Unit 10-02, Level 10

Menara Binjai No.2

Jalan Binjai, 50450

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Source

Poloniex: https://poloniex.com (shut down US operations in 2019)

Polo Digital Assets, Ltd.

F20, 1st Floor, Eden Plaza

Eden Island, Republic of Seychelles

Source

QuadrigaCX (shut down on January 28, 2019): https://quadrigacx.com

46-1881 Steeles Avenue

West Toronto, ON M3H0A1

Canada

Source

YoBit: https://yobit.net

Russia

Note: most cryptocurrency exchanges don't provide an account number, so you can simply enter “0001” as a placeholder. What matters is that you are making reasonable attempts at voluntarily coming forward and disclosing your foreign holdings.


CoinTracker helps you calculate your crypto taxes by seamlessly connecting to your exchanges and wallets. Questions or comments? Reach out to us @CoinTracker

Disclaimer: this post is informational only and is not intended as tax advice. For tax advice, please consult a tax professional.

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