Australia’s Tax Office Seeks Public Feedback On Taxing Cryptocurrency

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The Australian Taxation Office wants to know its tax payers’ opinions on how to tax capital gains and losses of cryptocurrencies.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) posted a bulletin yesterday, March 26, asking for the public’s input on cryptocurrencies, specifically in regards to tax obligations.

The tax regulator notes in yesterday’s bulletin that while they have asked for advice on crypto in the past, a growing interest in the specifics of taxing crypto prompted this additional query:

“We’ve timed this consultation to coincide with an update to our website, which should address some of the feedback we have received to date about our cryptocurrency guidance.

We’re eager to hear your feedback about cryptocurrency and its tax implications as the technology may impact how business operates in the future.”

On March 1, the ATO had reported that they will be cracking down on crypto traders this year to file their gains properly. Australia’s income tax treatment for cryptocurrencies, originally published in 2014, was updated on March 13 of this year.

The bulletin published yesterday links to a page entitled “Consultation: Substantiating cryptocurrency taxation events,” which details current tax obligations on Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies “that have the same characteristics as Bitcoin.”

The Taxation Office is seeking feedback “in particular” in “any practical issues that may impact on taxpayers’ abilities to calculate and substantial any capital gains and losses for capital gains tax (CGT) purposes.” Visitors to the site can fill out a confidential feedback form that asks four questions about CGT record keeping and crypto to crypto transactions.

The public feedback section has to date received one comment from user markusb, who writes about the difficulties in the “practicalities of trying to work out complex cost ratios between a massive amount of different cryptocurrencies”, continuing:

“The accounting practicalities are nightmarish. Also, a lot of traders make micro trades, where the difference is less than $1.00 per trade.m [sic]Please take all factors into account with crypto trading. It is nothing like trading shares. or anything else.”

In the middle of March, the ATO had released a different bulletin warning about scammers who were posing as the Office and attempting to fraudulently receive BTC as “tax payments.”

Australia has recently been at the forefront of crypto adoption news, with the announcement at the beginning of this month that consumers can buy BTC and Ethereum (ETH) at more than 1,200 newsstands across the country, and the Australian Stock Exchange reporting in December of last year that they will be the world’s first to process equity transactions using Blockchain.

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Author: Molly Jane Zuckerman

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