The Australian Taxation Office is charged with various tasks including consultation which is used as a means of improving the administration of Australia’s tax and superannuation systems in a way they describe as benefiting the national interest.
Individuals or companies make request a consultation with the office who will then consult with the community on matters that are either in the national interest or likely to significantly improve the health or effective operation of the system.
Recently the office was tasked with reviewing Bitcoin for taxation purposes and the initial consultation by the office has been completed.
Industry representatives from professional and Bitcoin associations, and leading businesses involved in the emerging Bitcoin community, met on April 29, 2014 with the Australian Taxation Office. Attendees provided valuable information about their business models and how different tax treatments would impact their clients, members and businesses.
The group provided valuable feedback on ATO propositions that have been part of ATO deliberations for an Australian position on this tax treatment. The ATO has sought further advice from external legal counsel, which has delayed the release of the guidance paper that is expected to be released soon. It remains the priority of the ATO 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).
It appears that Australia will be requiring those involved in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to throughly document each transaction for tax purposes and would like to see information for whom the other party involved in transactions were but will likely allow a simple notation of the Bitcoin address when other information is not available.
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