CoinIQ

Bear.tax Review – An Inexpensive Tax Solution for Casual Crypto Traders

Bear.tax In Brief

Bear.tax provides an inexpensive way to do your taxes compared to similar services, plus it’s one of the few crypto tax calculators that offers live chat. However, it only supports a small handful of crypto exchange APIs.

Pros

  • Live chat support. The “Mr. Ted” chat window lets you instantly connect with Bear.tax’s customer support team.
  • Intuitive interface. The Bear.tax wizard turns doing your taxes into a simple 3-step process.
  • Plans as low as 99 cents. The basic Bear.tax plan only processes 20 trades, but supports an unlimited number of exchanges.
  • Generates IRS form 8949. Bear.tax lets you download IRS form 8949 and/or a CSV document that contains your tax information.

Cons

  • No support for advanced trades. Bear.tax’s algorithm only handles basic trades and can’t process margin trades or derivatives.
  • Only supports five exchange APIs. Bear.tax can automatically import your data from Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex, GDAX and Poloniex. If you use other exchanges, you’ll have to upload a CSV file manually.
  • No portfolio tracker. Some crypto tax services can also track the value of your cryptocurrency portfolio in real time, but Bear.tax is only useful for doing your taxes.

What is Bear.tax?

Bear.tax is a tax service that calculates your cryptocurrency income gains and determines how much you owe.

Origins story

Bear.tax was founded by Vamshi Vangapally and Pradyumna Doddala. Rather than spend money on marketing, the founders opted to use word of mouth to promote the service. Doddala wrote about his company’s growth strategy in a blog post:

“BearTax didn’t spend a penny on marketing and we believe in giving undivided attention to the people we know first before going in the path of mass marketing. We improve the user experience almost daily and solve most problems we come across on the way.”

Doddala says that his company now has “more than 800 happy customers,” many of which helped the team improve the platform by making suggestions and identifying bugs.

Leadership team

  • Vamshi Vangapally – Co-founder. Vangapally has provided user interface consulting services to a number of companies including Genuine Parts Company, Noblesoft Solutions, CVS Health and others. He graduated from Bangalore’s International Institute of Information Technology with a master’s degree in Technology.
  • Pradyumna Doddala – Co-founder. Before co-founding Bear.tax, Doddala developed software for the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Genuine Parts Company. He graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a master’s degree in Computer Science.

Core Features

Bear.tax’s core value proposition is that it’s inexpensive and has a live chat interface. In addition, Bear.tax claims that its algorithm does a better job of accounting for deposits and withdrawals than other platforms.

Here’s a more in-depth look at Bear.tax’s features and limitations.

Live support

As mentioned above, Bear.tax’s specialty is customer support. Competing services require their users to fill out a ticket and wait for a response if they have a question or run into an issue, but the “Mr. Ted” chat interface provides instant help.

Accurate withdrawals and deposits

Some services import data from crypto exchanges, but can’t correctly track withdrawals and deposits. Bear.tax claims that it uses a more accurate system for crunching the numbers.

Inexpensive subscription plans

With plans for casual cryptocurrency traders as inexpensive as 99 cents, Bear.tax is cheaper than most other cryptocurrency tax services.

Easy-to-use interface

The simple tax wizard guides you through the process of connecting your cryptocurrency accounts and uploading your financial data.

Limitations

Bear.tax’s main limitation is that it can’t be used as a day-to-day portfolio tracker. Competing services can automatically sync with your accounts and wallets or generate charts that display the value of your assets in real time. In addition, Bear.tax only supports a handful of exchange APIs. Also, it can’t process margin trades or derivatives.

Customer Support

The Bear.tax team responded immediately when CoinIQ tested the chat interface. However, chat is just about the only support option available. There is a basic FAQ page, but no blog or knowledge base.

Mobile Apps

Bear.tax doesn’t have any mobile apps.

Subscription Prices

Bear.tax offers four subscription plans: Dollar, Basic, Plus and Ultimate. It’s worth noting here that all the plans are much cheaper than similar plans offered by competing services. All the plans feature live chat support and unlimited exchange integrations.

  • Dollar. The Dollar plan costs 99 cents and is suitable for casual cryptocurrency traders that have only placed a handful of trades. Its main limitation is that it can only process up to 20 transactions.
  • Basic. After the Dollar plan, the next step up is Basic. Basic costs $29.99 and can handle up to 200 transactions. It may be the best plan if you’re a semi-casual cryptocurrency trader.
  • Plus. The Plus plan costs $59.99 and processes up to 999 transactions.
  • Ultimate. Ultimate costs $199.99 and provides a comparatively cheap way to find out how much you owe in taxes if you rely on bots to place your trade orders.

User experience

Bear.tax’s interface consists of a simple 3-step wizard. The first page of the wizard– Get Started— shows you how many transactions you’ve added to your account.

Source: CoinIQ

The next page of the wizard helps you link your various cryptocurrency exchange accounts into Bear.tax. If you use Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex, GDAX or Poloniex, you can link your accounts automatically through those exchanges’ APIs. If you use one of the other supported exchanges, you’ll have to generate a CSV file and then upload the file into Bear.tax manually. Guides for generating CSV files are listed on the right.

Source: CoinIQ

The last part of the wizard contains five tabs: Uploaded Transactions, Review, Gain/Loss Info, Payment and Download Tax Forms. Uploaded Transactions displays all the info that you’ve uploaded through the APIs or with CSV files. Review lets you edit those values manually. The Gain/Loss Info tab depicted below shows you a line-by-line analysis of each of your trades. The other tabs are self-explanatory. Payment lets you pick out a subscription and Download Tax Forms lets you print out IRS form 8949 and other tax forms.

Source: BearTax

Final Thoughts

If you’re a casual crypto trader that only placed a handful of trades last year, Bear.tax is worth a try. Its inexpensive 99¢ plan makes it one of the cheapest cryptocurrency tax service on the market.

Alex Munkachy

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