Australia Eyes Unreported Crypto Transactions: Taxman Targets 1.2 Million Accounts


Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has requested
personal data and transaction details from crypto exchanges for up to 1.2
million accounts to crack down on potential tax evaders, Reuters reported. This
move marks a significant escalation in the ATO’s efforts to ensure compliance
in the rapidly expanding digital currency market.

Oversight of Crypto Tax Compliance

The ATO’s notice, issued last month, aims to identify
individuals who may have failed to report their crypto transactions. It focuses
on instances where crypto assets were exchanged or utilized for payments
without proper tax declarations.

The ATO has acknowledged the complexities of the
crypto industry, attributing non-compliance to a lack of awareness regarding
tax obligations. Additionally, the potential for anonymous transactions using
false information poses a challenge in effectively enforcing tax laws.

The scope of the ATO’s request extends beyond basic
transaction details, encompassing personal information such as dates of birth,
phone numbers, and social media accounts. Additionally, the office is seeking
specific details like bank accounts, wallet addresses, and the types of coins
involved.

Australia’s tax treatment of digital currencies
reportedly categorizes them as assets, subjecting investors to capital gains
tax obligations upon selling or trading crypto assets. This approach aims to
ensure equitable taxation across traditional and digital asset classes.

Rising Crypto Adoption

The exponential
growth of Australia’s crypto market is evident from a treasury report
indicating a significant uptick in digital asset transactions. With over
800,000 taxpayers engaging in crypto activities in recent years, 2021 witnessed
a remarkable 63% surge in participation.

Meanwhile, Australia is preparing to embrace Bitcoin exchange-traded funds
(ETFs), a move that could reshape the country’s investment landscape. Following
the footsteps of the US and Hong Kong, ASX Ltd, Australia’s primary equity
exchange, could soon allow the launch of Bitcoin ETFs, Bloomberg reported.

The soaring interest in cryptocurrencies
among investors is evident in the $53 billion inflow into US Bitcoin ETFs this
year. Notable players like Van Eck Associates Corp. and BetaShares Holdings Pty
are poised to introduce similar ETFs in Australia. This comes amidst a
resurgence in the crypto market, driving Bitcoin to record highs exceeding
$70,000.

ASX, responsible for the majority of equity
trading in Australia, is currently evaluating applications for spot Bitcoin
ETFs. Although an exact timeline hasn’t been confirmed,
insiders speculate approvals could materialize before the end of the year. Australia’s $2.3 trillion pension market stands as a
crucial catalyst for Bitcoin ETF inflows.

This article was written by Jared Kirui at www.financemagnates.com.



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