Blockchain Blog

Blockchain API Profile: LibraTax

With tax season quickly approaching, we thought it would be a great idea to feature a relevant API Profile before that deadline slowly creeps up on us all. Jake Benson, CEO and Founder of LibraTax, joined me to talk about presenting Bitcoiners with less complicated options for tax prep. If you’re considering your options this year for tax prep, as a bitcoin earner, keep on reading.

Alyson: For those who are unfamiliar, please introduce them to LibraTax.

Jake: LibraTax helps people and businesses easily account for all for their Bitcoin transactions. We automatically import transactions from wallet providers and exchanges, including Blockchain.info‘s Wallet; this allows a person to be balanced and tax compliant literally, on-demand.

A: What inspired the company’s launch?

J: When the IRS first issued guidance that Bitcoin would be treated as a capital asset, we knew this was going to create quite a bit of work for the average person to be able to remain tax compliant and efficiently account for their Bitcoin. This was because the regulation deemed that going forward, everyone would need to keep track of the acquiring price (cost basis) and sale price (proceeds) in each and every Bitcoin transaction, even for small purchases.

As we all know, most Bitcoin users are somewhat active, with a combination of many different transaction types, such as buying food or drink, tipping someone, or just simply buying and selling Bitcoin. This gets extremely complicated, and as result, we as Bitcoin users need to rely on a service that does the cost basis tracking and tedious math for us to determine a potential capital gain or loss.

LibraTax simplifies this so that it can all be done automatically in minutes. It’s also essential for the growth of the bitcoin ecosystem that people and businesses have tools for proper accounting and a reasonable means to use bitcoin in a compliant matter.

[![Pictured: The LibraTax team. Image courtesy of Jake Benson.](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/02/libratax-1024x576.jpg)](http://blog.blockchain.com/content/images/2015/02/libratax.jpg)
Pictured: The LibraTax team. Image courtesy of Jake Benson.
**A: How would you compare your service with other tax prep software? **

J: We’re like a “Digital Currency Edition” of QuickBooks or TurboTax. That software, however, doesn’t play nicely with Bitcoin; it requires a unique solution, like ours. We don’t plan to reinvent the wheel however, and our software is supplementary to theirs. We will eventually have direct integration.

A: One of the most interesting features of using LibraTax, that I noticed so far, is that your users can choose to remain anonymous and not provide your company with personal information; can you tell me why this option was made available?

J: Our users requested this, and we build as much utility as possible to help them account for Bitcoin efficiently. We also give them fast, on-demand access to be able to maintain tax compliance. In such situations where they want to remain anonymous, knowing their personal info is not an important step.

A: Is LibraTax a service that is available for personal taxes as well as businesses?

J: Yep! LibraTax works for businesses just like it does for individuals. Libra ‘Business’ edition is launching soon though, and that will add additional features that are essential for regular bookkeeping purchases, not just tax reporting.

A: How does the Blockchain API library fit into the LibraTax picture?

J: We use the Blockchain API to allow our users to be able to automatically import transactions on the fly. The transaction history from a user’s wallet(s) will be reflected in LibraTax.

**A: Is there a cost involved?
**

J: There is no cost to sign-up for LibraTax and start tracking your gains and losses. It is $19 dollars to download the tax report.

If you want to learn more about LibraTax, give them a visit or feel free to send them an email.

Check out the rest of our profiles in our API series. Comment below if you’d like your project or company featured!