US Tax Requirements for BitGold - personal opinion.
There are three areas that must be dealt with: the FBAR, Form 8938, and Capital Gains/Losses. Note: several changes have been made to the FBAR and Form 8938 in the last few years, and they may change again for 2016. So these instructions are probably only good for filing 2015 taxes.
1. FBAR (FinCEN Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts)
The FBAR is required for BitGold and Goldmoney if your account(s) exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2015. The deadline for submission is June 30th. I usually do it early in June.
GoldMoney holdings offer a way to display the maximum account value during the year. As far as I know, BitGold accounts do not, so if you're not sure you would need to rely on your monthly statements to see if you went over $10,000.
The FBAR may NOT be filed with your tax return on April 15, 2016, and it may NOT be filed through the mail on a paper form. It must be filed online by going to the BSA E-Filing System. Click the button "Report Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)."
Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)
2. Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets)
Form 8938 is required for BitGold and GoldMoney, if you had at least $50,000 in your account on 12/31/15, or $75,000 at any time during 2015, if filing singly. If married filing jointly, the thresholds are $100,000 end of year, $150,000 during the year. BitGold accounts have a maximum of 2500g, which is under $100,000 at 2015 prices, so if you're married you probably didn't reach the threshold.
Form 8938 is filed by April 15th with the rest of your tax return.
2015 Instructions for Form 8938
3. Capital Gains/Losses
All BitGold (and GoldMoney) sales/redemptions must be reported as capital gains/losses on your tax return. Since this is not a mutual fund, average cost basis may not be used, so gains & losses must be reported on a specific lot by lot basis (each individual transaction is a separate lot). The IRS assumes FIFO (First In, First Out) as the default choice for which specific lots are being sold, meaning that when a redemption takes place, it is assumed that the oldest lot or lots remaining in the account are being sold. Although I think you could use a different method (highest price first, lowest price first, last lot first, or selected order) I'm going to keep it simple and use FIFO. Whatever method you choose, I think you have to stick with it next year, at least for all lots remaining in the account from the previous year.
Gold is treated as a "Collectible" by the IRS. Short term gains/losses are taxed at your regular income tax rate - the same as selling a stock. Long term gains/losses (a year or more between the time the lot was purchased and sold) are also taxed at your regular income tax rate, but with a maximum rate of 28% (not as favorable as selling a stock, where the maximum rate is lower).
Since BitGold was first made available in the US in summer 2015, all of our 2015 transactions are short term.
If you click the "Transactions" tab at the top of your BitGold dashboard, you can set the "Date Filter" to "Previous Year," and click "Export" to download all the transactions. In the downloaded file, the "Historical Basis" column shows the basis for each transaction, with the 1% fee already included.
BitGold support has an article Understanding the tax tool application. It says "The BitGold application will provide you with a tax tool (Tax Currency setting) to calculate your yearly gains or losses from the purchases, sales, and spending transactions that have occurred within your account. … To view this application, please visit the "Settings" page on the BitGold account homepage or click HERE for more details." But there is no longer a "Settings" page on the BitGold account homepage, the link given does not mention the tax tool application, and I can't find the tax tool anywhere (yes, I've reported this to support - haven't heard back yet).
Gains and losses are reported on Form 1040, Schedule D. Your tax accountant will know what to do with the transaction list. D.Y.I. is beyond the scope of this post!