The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is poised to prepare tax guidance for users of bitcoin and other digital currencies, reports indicate.
Officials at the tax authority have made the decision to meet with what has been described as “key figures” in the bitcoin/crypto industry in Sydney on Tuesday. Those key figures include bitcoin-related business operations and tax experts who will assist in the release of a draft discussion paper as soon as next week.
Officials at the ATO are reportedly looking to gather more information on how bitcoin transactions, investments, and income should be treated.
The discussions will also cover the topics of taxation when it comes to bitcoin exchanges and bitcoin mining operations.
If all goes accordingly, the Australian public can expect the ATO to make the tax guidance public come the 30th of June.
Meanwhile in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) controversially released guidance in late March, instructing taxpayers to treat bitcoin as property for federal tax purposes.
The IRS’s guidance clarified that users of the digital currency would be required to keep track of gains and losses on each other their transactions — something many in the community raised as an issue (given its cumbersomeness).
The approach was different, however. The IRS’s guidance came seemingly with no consultation from the outside. No discussions with bitcoin experts or companies (so far as we’re aware).
Certainly, it will be interesting to see what comes of this. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.