The amounts shown on line items on the 8949 may match transaction history sometimes, but very often the amounts will not match up. This article explains why.
Line items on the 8949 do not necessarily correspond to the transactions in CoinTracker, or the records in the original wallet or exchange. This is because transaction history is different from the way that disposals of crypto are broken down on the 8949 for tax calculation purposes. The amounts that show on the 8949 line items depend on purchase and sale dates and amounts, the cost basis method set, and whether cost basis is tracked across all wallets universally or on each wallet individually.
**Please note that the Condensed Form 8949 aggregates the disposed amounts by cryptocurrency, so it's more obvious why those amounts won't match transactions. The amounts are summed and appear under long term and short term gains according to the cost basis settings, so the same rules are being applied, but the examples below assume you're looking at the regular 8949.
Let's say it's December 15th. You hold .5 ETH that you bought over a year ago, and .5 ETH that you bought six months ago, and this is the only ETH you have. You convert 1 ETH to fiat. This will show as one transaction in CoinTracker with the amount of 1 ETH being disposed on December 15th.
When you generate your 8949, however, there will be two line items for this sale of ETH, one for each date that ETH was purchased. One of the purchase dates for your ETH is over a year ago, so you will have a disposal line item under long-term capital gains, and the other will fall under short term. You'd have a line for .5 ETH on Part I, and the other half of that sale would appear under Part II on the form, each with the "Date sold or disposed" of December 15 in column C. For this sale, the line items on the 8949 will not match up one-to-one with your CoinTracker transactions, or the transactions in your wallet or Exchange.
Suppose it's December 15th, and on this date you hold 1 ETH. This is all the ETH you have. You just purchased it in two transactions, .5 ETH last month on November 1st, and .5 ETH on November 15th. If you sell .75 ETH today, the transaction in Cointracker will show -.75 ETH.
But when you generate the 8949, you'll see that you have two line items under Part I for short-term capital gains, one for each purchase date for the crypto sold.
If you have the cost basis setting as LIFO (coin you bought last is the first sold), you'll see:
.5 ETH purchased on November 15th and sold on December 15th
.25 ETH purchased on November 1st and sold on December 15th.
If you have the cost basis set as FIFO (coin you bought first is the first sold), you'll see:
.5 ETH purchased on November 1st and sold on December 15th.
.25 ETH purchased on November 15th and sold on December 15th
Neither of these amounts corresponds to the amount of the sale transaction in CoinTracker or in your exchange account or wallet. In this example, one of the original sale amounts is split and appears as .25 instead of the original purchase amount of .5, and which purchase amount gets split depends on the cost basis method.
For a more complicated but very common example, let's say you sold 1 ETH all at once, but you had purchased that 1 ETH slowly over two years as a series of weekly recurring buys. In CoinTracker, you'll have one transaction of -1 ETH for that sale. However, when you generate the 8949, you will see a line item for each purchase date for the ETH that made up the sold amount. Some of the line items would be under Part I for short-term gains, and some would be under Part II for long-term gains. You'd have to add all of those amounts together, and then you'd come up with the sale amount.
This becomes even more complex if you had many different sales/trades with various dates and amounts, with purchases also made in various amounts on different dates as the software determines which tokens are being sold based on your cost basis settings. This is also a very common case, and you might find that a large number of line items on the 8949 have amounts that do not correspond to sold/sent amounts on the CoinTracker transactions at all.
Crypto taxes are complicated, and we strongly recommend our users consult a qualified tax professional. None of the information here should be construed as tax advice.
Please see the following articles for more information on cost basis methods and crypto taxation.
How to Lower your Crypto Tax Bill: Which Cost Basis Method is Best?
Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin Tax Guide
My Cost Basis/Return/Capital Gain/Market Value is Incorrect. Why?