Australia Seeks Public Input on Crypto Tax Guidelines

Australia’s government wants to hear from the public about its tax treatment of cryptocurrencies.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said Monday that it has updated its guidelines for cryptocurrencies on Mar. 13, following an increase in queries from taxpayers.

As a result, officials have launched a public comment process in order to “understand [the] practical issues experienced when complying with cryptocurrency tax obligations.”

“In particular, we are interested in any practical issues that may impact on taxpayers’ abilities to calculate and substantial any capital gains and losses for (cryptocurrency) capital gains tax (CGT) purposes,” the agency explained on its website.

The updates point to the fact that capital gains from exchanging one cryptocurrency to another are subject to tax liabilities. The guidelines mandate that taxpayers provide details of these transactions, such as their value in Australian dollar, their purpose, as well as information about the timing and parties involved.

On a broader level, cryptocurrency taxation has been, perhaps, a contentious issue within Australia. Previously, advocates and users broadly criticized the fact that both purchases of cryptocurrency and expenditures made with the tech triggered a goods-and-services tax (GST).

Lawmakers ultimately passed legislation last year that applies the GST treatment to cryptocurrencies in the same manner as foreign currencies.

Australia tax file image via Shutterstock