What Are the Tax Implications of Selling NFT?

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An illustration of a woman working at a desk with a lot of tax documents.


Navigating the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) can be complex, especially when it comes to understanding tax implications. Did you know that income earned from selling NFTs is subject to capital gains tax? This article will offer a comprehensive guide on how these unique digital assets are taxed and what you need to keep in mind during your transactions.

Ready to become an expert at managing your taxes when dealing with NFTs? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Income earned from selling NFTs is subject to capital gains tax, just like selling a house or car.
  • Short-term capital gains (held for one year or less) are taxed at your regular income tax rate, while long-term capital gains (held for more than one year) may qualify for lower tax rates of 0%, 15%, or 20% depending on your taxable income.
  • NFT transactions can also have additional costs like gas fees and may be subject to sales tax depending on your location.
  • Strategies to minimize NFT taxes include holding onto them for the long-term, selling in a low-income year, using fiat currency instead of appreciated cryptocurrency when selling, and utilizing tax-loss harvesting techniques.

How NFTs are Taxed

When it comes to the taxation of NFTs, there are several important factors to consider. This section will explore how NFTs are reported on tax returns, the taxation of NFT transactions, rates for short-term and long-term capital gains, as well as the tax implications of NFT gas fees, play-to-earn games, airdrops, and sales tax on NFT purchases.

Reporting NFTs on tax returns

You need to put NFT sales on your tax return. Make sure you tell the IRS about any money you made from selling NFTs. It is like when you sell a house or car and have to report it on your taxes.

Any income from NFTs is taxed the same way as money from work or other sources. It’s very important to keep records of all your NFT deals so you can show them if the IRS asks you for proof.

Be aware, they will look at how much money was used to create an NFT and how much was made in profit when taxing it.

Taxation of NFT transactions

When you sell an NFT, there are tax implications to consider. Both the seller and buyer may have tax obligations. NFTs are subject to capital gains tax and income tax. If you buy an NFT with cryptocurrency, you may incur a capital gain or loss based on the price difference.

When you sell an NFT, taxes are due and it’s the seller’s responsibility to pay them. The difference between the cost of creating the NFT and the selling price should be taxed as ordinary income.

Profits from selling NFTs are considered income and will be taxed at your regular income tax rate. The IRS treats certain types of NFTs as collectibles and taxes them at ordinary-income-tax rates, up to 28%.

Rates for short-term and long-term capital gains

The tax rates on Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) sales are determined by the holding period before selling, which thereby differentiates between short-term and long-term capital gains.

Holding PeriodTax Rate
Short-term (held for one year or less)Ordinary income tax rate (up to 37%)
Long-term (held for more than one year)0%, 15%, or 20% based on income
As Collectibles (if IRS treats NFT as collectible)Up to 28%

If you sell an NFT that you’ve held for one year or less, it’s considered a short-term capital gain, and will be taxed as ordinary income. This means that it will be taxed at the same rate as your wage or salary income, which can range from 10% to 37% depending on your tax bracket.

If you hold onto an NFT for more than a year before selling, it qualifies for long-term capital gains rates. These rates are generally more favorable and are set at either 0%, 15%, or 20% depending on your overall taxable income.

But in certain cases where the IRS treats an NFT as a collectible, it could be taxed at a maximum of 28%, which can exceed the top long-term capital gains rate. This occurs when the NFT is considered to fall under the same category as items like coins, art, and other collectibles.

It’s worth noting that the rates can vary depending on other factors such as the original purchase price, the selling price, and your individual tax rates. Hence, considering these factors can help you gauge the potential tax impact of your NFT transactions.

Tax implications of NFT gas fees, play-to-earn games, and airdrops

NFT gas fees, play-to-earn games, and airdrops can have tax implications. When you buy or sell NFTs, there may be additional costs called gas fees. These fees cover the transaction’s processing on the blockchain and are usually paid in cryptocurrency.

Gas fees are not tax-deductible expenses and will increase your overall cost basis for tax purposes.

If you earn income from play-to-earn games through NFTs, such as earning in-game items or tokens that have real-world value, this income is taxable. It should be reported as ordinary income on your tax return.

Airdrops, where you receive free tokens or NFTs from projects or platforms, also have tax consequences. The value of these airdropped assets is considered taxable income when received.

Sales tax on NFT purchases

When you purchase an NFT, you may also need to consider sales tax. Sales tax is a tax imposed by the government on the sale of goods and services. While sales tax regulations can vary depending on your location, it’s important to be aware that some jurisdictions may require you to pay sales tax when buying an NFT.

The amount of sales tax will depend on where you live and the specific rules in place. It’s crucial to understand these regulations and factor them into the overall cost of purchasing an NFT.

Strategies to Reduce NFT Taxes

To minimize your tax liabilities when selling NFTs, there are several strategies you can employ.

Holding NFTs for the long-term

If you hold onto your NFTs for the long-term, you may be able to reduce your tax obligations. By holding onto them for at least one year, you may qualify for long-term capital gains treatment.

This means that when you eventually sell your NFTs, you’ll pay a lower tax rate on any profits made compared to short-term capital gains. The specific tax rate will depend on your individual income level and tax bracket.

Holding onto NFTs for the long-term can be a smart strategy to minimize your taxes and potentially maximize your overall returns.

Selling NFTs in a low-income year

If you find yourself in a low-income year, selling NFTs can be a strategic move to legally reduce your tax obligations. When you sell an NFT, the profits are considered income and will be taxed at the regular income tax rate.

If you’re in a low-income year with lower earnings, your tax rate may also be lower. This means that when you sell your NFTs during this time, you’ll likely have to pay less taxes on the income earned from those sales.

Keep track of your earnings and consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations.

Using fiat currency instead of appreciated cryptocurrency

If you sell an NFT using appreciated cryptocurrency, you may have to pay taxes on the capital gains from that transaction. However, one strategy to potentially reduce your tax liability is to use fiat currency instead of cryptocurrency when selling your NFT.

By doing this, you can avoid triggering a taxable event based on the increase in value of the cryptocurrency used for the purchase. This means that if you originally bought the NFT with cryptocurrency and its value has gone up since then, using fiat currency can help you legally avoid tax consequences related to those gains.

So, consider using traditional money rather than appreciated cryptocurrency when selling your NFTs to potentially lower your tax obligations.

Tax-loss harvesting with NFTs

Tax-loss harvesting with NFTs can help reduce your tax burden. Here’s how:

  1. If you have NFT investments that have decreased in value, you can sell them to realize a capital loss.
  2. These capital losses can be used to offset capital gains from other investments, reducing your overall taxable income.
  3. It’s important to remember that tax – loss harvesting should be done strategically and not solely for the purpose of avoiding taxes.
  4. You must adhere to the IRS guidelines for wash – sale rules, which prevent you from immediately repurchasing a substantially identical NFT within 30 days of selling it at a loss.
  5. By utilizing tax – loss harvesting, you can potentially lower your tax liability while still participating in the NFT market.

International NFT Tax Reporting

Learn how to navigate the complexities of reporting NFT taxes internationally and calculating taxes on NFT transactions.

Reporting NFT taxes internationally

When it comes to reporting NFT taxes internationally, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you need to understand the tax laws and regulations in your specific country or jurisdiction.

Different countries may have different rules when it comes to taxing NFTs. Second, you should accurately report any income generated from the sale of NFTs on your tax returns. This includes providing information such as the purchase price, selling price, and any applicable fees or expenses related to the transaction.

Lastly, be aware of any international tax treaties that may apply and potentially affect how your NFT sales are taxed. It’s important to consult with a tax professional who has expertise in international taxation to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

Calculating taxes on NFT transactions

Calculating taxes on NFT transactions is important to ensure compliance with tax laws. Here are the key factors to consider:

  1. Purchase Price: The amount you paid to acquire the NFT is the starting point for calculating taxes.
  2. Selling Price: The price at which you sell the NFT determines your taxable gain or loss.
  3. Holding Period: If you held the NFT for less than a year before selling it, it is considered a short-term capital gain or loss. If held for more than a year, it is a long-term capital gain or loss.
  4. Cost Basis: This refers to the original purchase price of the NFT, which is used to calculate your taxable gain or loss.
  5. Capital Gains Tax Rate: Depending on your income level and holding period, the applicable tax rate for capital gains can vary.
  6. Deductible Expenses: You may be eligible to deduct certain expenses related to acquiring or selling the NFT, such as transaction fees or marketing costs.
  7. Crypto-to-Crypto Transactions: If you used cryptocurrency to buy or sell the NFT, any gains or losses from those transactions are also subject to tax.


Selling NFTs can have significant tax implications. As a seller, you may be responsible for paying capital gains tax and income tax on the profits from your NFT sales. It’s important to understand your tax obligations and consider strategies to minimize your taxes, such as holding NFTs for the long-term or selling them in a low-income year.

Make sure to consult with a tax professional to navigate the complex world of NFT taxation.


How does the IRS plan to tax NFTs?

The IRS plans to tax NFTs as collectibles, which means they are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.

What taxes do I face when buying NFT with cryptocurrency?

When you buy NFTs with cryptocurrency, you can incur capital gains or losses that will be subjected to taxes at the point of purchase.

What are my tax obligations if I sell an NFT?

If you sell an NFT, it could be subject to income and capital gains tax as the IRS has rules for reporting these sales on your tax return.

Is there a way not pay taxes when trading or selling my digital art NFTs?

There isn’t a well-known loophole in regards to avoiding taxes from trading or selling your digital art market investments like Non-fungible tokens (Nfts). The IRS looks at these tokenizations as taxable property just like any crypto assets based on their regulations.

Are all types of virtual assets, such as NFTs, taxed by the government?

Yes! All forms of virtual assets including blockchain technology-based items such as nonfungible tokens(Nfts) have specific IRS regulations applied toward them related to taxation and are considered part of your yearly income assessment.



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About the Author:
Alex Sterling stands at the forefront of blockchain innovation, offering a technical perspective rooted in a Computer Science background. Specializing in decentralized systems, Alex's articles dissect blockchain technologies and crypto market trends, making intricate details comprehensible for readers. They are deeply involved in blockchain project development, frequently sharing their technical expertise at tech conferences. Alex's work aims to educate and inspire readers about the transformative potential of blockchain and cryptocurrency.