Taxpayers in Australia have been waiting patiently for a rulebook of sorts coming from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) on how they should properly address their bitcoin holdings on income taxes.
And while a full guidance hasn’t been released, the ATO has brought the matter up again on a “Completed Matters” page on their official website.
Without any further commentary, here is what has been published as it appears on the ATO website:
Status: Consultation completed
Purpose: To seek input from a business community perspective about the impacts of differing taxation treatments of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies on the Australian business community.
Description: Industry representatives from professional and Bitcoin associations, and leading businesses involved in the emerging Bitcoin community, met on 29 April 2014. Attendees provided valuable information about their business models and how different tax treatments would impact their clients, members and businesses.
Who we consulted: Industry representatives from profession and Bitcoin associations.
Outcomes: The group provided valuable feedback on ATO propositions that have been part of our deliberations for an Australian position on this tax treatment. We have sought further advice from external legal counsel, which has delayed the release of the guidance paper. It remains our priority to provide the community with the final guidance paper in time for people to complete their 2013–14 income tax returns. The key information that a taxpayer will need about each transaction or event with Bitcoin is the date, the amount in $A, what it was for, and who the other party was (their Bitcoin address, at a minimum).
As noted here, a final guidance paper is expected, though no indication as to when that might happen is available.
We’re at an interesting point in time in the development of cryptocurrencies — namely bitcoin — in that even governments are making their own taxation rules. If you needed any more proof cryptocurrencies are here to stay, here it is.