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How to fix balance remaining warnings

Last Updated: March 30 2023

What is a Balance Remaining Issue

If you dispose of cryptocurrency, but don't have enough balance, this will raise the balance remaining warning message in the app. A negative balance remaining will trigger a "zero cost" sale. Basically, what this means is that we were unable to find out the cost basis for the cryptocurrency, so the proceeds is considered profit.

Example 1: No Buy Transaction

Date Trade Currency Price Quantity Balance Cost Basis Proceeds Gain (Loss)
6th August Sell BTC 4,500 1 -1 0 4,500 4,500

In example 1 the user has sold 1 BTC, but never entered the initial buy transaction in the app. We assume zero cost basis and the entire proceeds is calculated as a gain.

Example 2: Partial Buy Transaction

Date Trade Currency Price Quantity Balance Cost Basis Proceeds Gain (Loss)
1st Jan Buy BTC 3,000 1 1 3,000 -
6th August Sell BTC 4,500 1.5 -0.5 3,000 6,750 3,750

In example 2 the user has sold 1.5 BTC, but only bought 1 BTC. The cost basis for 1 BTC is $3,000. Since we do not have the cost basis for the remaining 0.5 BTC being sold, the cost basis remains $3,000 for the entire transaction. This leads to a gain of $3,750.

Example 3: Correct Buy Transaction

Date Trade Currency Price Quantity Balance Cost Basis Proceeds Gain (Loss)
1st Jan Buy BTC 3,000 1.5 1.5 4,500 -
6th August Sell BTC 4,500 1.5 0 4,500 6,750 2,250

In example 3 the user has corrected the mistake, and now the cost basis has increased to $4,500, so the gain has been reduced $1,500. As you can see, correcting balance remaining issues can make a big difference in your calculations.

How to Fix Balance Remaining Warnings

Import data from all exchanges

Balance remaining issues usually occur because you have missing imported transactions. You need to make sure that you have imported all transactions from all exchanges. If you initially purchased cryptocurrency on Coinbase, and transferred this to Binance, and only import the exchange data for Binance, we will not be able to calculate the cost basis since we do not have the Coinbase transactions.

Import all your wallet data

If you transferred cryptocurrency to your own wallet, you should also import your wallet transactions. This can be easily done in the app by selecting the relevant blockchain and adding your public wallet address. This will help isolate any balance remaining issues on particular exchanges.

Import any over the counter transactions manually

In the early days of crypto, the only way to move money into the system was to buy crypto over the counter. If you transferred money to another bank account and received cryptocurrency in return, you need to manually add these transactions.

Categorise all your transactions

The more data you import, the better we can match transactions, but occasionally the automated algorithm is unable to categorize the transaction. You can navigate to the "Review Transactions" page and select filter > warnings > uncategorized transactions. This will show you a list of uncategorized transactions. You need to go through this list and correctly categorize these transactions. You can read more about categorizing transactions here.

Isolate any remaining balance remaining issues

At this stage you should have all your data in the app. If you still have balance remaining issues this can be caused by corrupted data. For example, there have been cases where the data provided by the exchange has missing transactions. We have created some filtering tools to make isolating these issues less painful. The best way to isolate this issue:

  1. Pick the currency with the largest balance remaining issue.
  2. Navigate to the "Review Transactions" page.
  3. Sort transactions old-newest.
  4. Once sorted, click the filter button.
  5. Check the currency box and select this currency.
  6. Also check the currency box for warnings and select balance remaining.
  7. Select apply.

You will now see a list of balance remaining issues associated with that cryptocurrency. At the top of the list is the oldest transaction. We now know that the transaction causing this balance remaining issue occurred either at or before the date of this transaction. So you have context, you can now clear the filters, and navigate to the page where this transaction occurs. Now you can expand the rows and hover over the balance remaining. In 99% of cases there is something that stands out as incorrect, and the context usually prompts your memory of what you were doing at the time, and you be able to source the correct information. If you are still having troubles at this stage, reach out to support and we will be able to assist.

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Shane Brunette


Shane Brunette founded CTC back in 2018 after dealing with his own crypto tax nightmare. He has worked closely with accountants and tax lawyers to make it easy for fellow cryptocurrency users to be tax compliant.

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