“If you make a transaction, the onus will be on you to report it,” said certified financial planner Samuel Boyd, senior vice president of Capital Asset Management Group in Washington, D.C. “Those transactions generate either short-term capital gains or losses or long-term capital gains or losses.”
For many investments, individuals generally receive a Form 1099 that shows their taxable gains. The form also is sent to the IRS, which gives the agency a way to identify any differences in what’s reported between brokerages and taxpayers.
Even if you get no official notice of your taxable gains, the IRS wants its share. A U.S. District Court judge in California recently ordered Coinbase, a popular platform for buying and selling bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, to turn over identifying information on accounts worth at least $20,000 during 2013 to 2015. It’s unclear whether the exchange will comply or contest the ruling.