How to import trades into a crypto tax service?
This guide explains the different ways crypto tax services allow you to import your trade history.
Not all crypto tax services support all ways, so it is important to understand what your possibilities and needs are to make a wise decision when picking one crypto tax service.
Trading Volume and Source
To understand what you will need to import your trade history, you need to answer a few questions that will make your life easier.
- What is your estimated trade volume? Do you have 10s, 100s or 1000s of trades in a given tax year? This will make an important differnece when thinking about ways of importing all this trades into your tool of choice.
- What is the source of your trade history? Is it an exchange, a blockchain wallet, a distributed exchange or a mixture of these? Some tools support upload from this sources in an automated way through APIs, others require uploading an export obtained from the exchange and some others simply do not support trades from a blockhain wallet for example and these need to be imported manually.
API, CSV and Manual
The main ways to import your trade history into a crypto tax service are direct API import, CSV file upload and manual trade creation.
API refers to Application Programming Interface, it is a way for a crypto tax service to automatically access your trade history in an exchange or blockchain wallet. In the case of the exchange, you will have to create credentials for your crypto tax service so they have access to the exchange data. The benefits aside from one time setup is that your trade history will be updated over time without you having to do anything. New trades will show up promptly after they occur in the exchange. The downsides are that your crypto tax service will have access to your exchange while when you upload a CSV file there is a bit more privacy and security.
CSV stands for Comma Separated Value and is a file format where values are listed as one row per line and each column value is separated by a comma. This format is the most common format for exporting your trade history from any exchange and for uploading it to your crypto tax service. The columns, value formatting or way of reporting specific situation (e.g. margin trace, ICO, etc.) may vary across exchanges and that is why sometimes a crypto tax service might not support a specific exchange. The benefits of this approach is that it is more secure and private than API since you are responsible of obtaining the file export from your exchange and upload it in your crypto tax service. Your crypto tax service will not have access to your exchange. The downside is that any time there is new trades you need to upload a new file and it is more error prone since you might mix up files uploading older/incorrect/incomplete files.
Manual refers to manually importing trades one by one. This is sometimes necessary for unsupported exchanges/wallets but not recommendable for high volume traders since it is very labor intensive and error prone.
You should figure what would be the best solution for importing your trade history based on the questions posed above and the differences described for the ways to import your trade history.
Example 1: if you have 100s of trades per tax year and they are in different exchanges, it is important your crypto tax service can automatically pull them from these exchanges since otherwise you will have to spend considerable time exporting/importing CSV files.
Example 2: if you have 1000s of trades in a single exchange, you have to evaluate if you are uploading your trades only at the end of the year or you want to review your tax report progress along the year. The former would suggest a CSV export/import is better for you, the latter API integration.
Example 3: you have most trades in a single exchange, but a few trades in an unsupported exchange. Using APIs/CSV for the trades from the well known exchange and manual import for the less known exchange would be your best bet.
Figuring out your needs and what crypto tax service meets them is important before paying for any service. Check Crypto.Tax to compare across crypto tax services and find the one that fits you best!