The ATO is coming after cryptocurrency investors! We round up everything you need to know about crypto taxes in Australia.
The ATO has been targeting cryptocurrency investors in Australia recently, sending out letters to tens of thousands of Australians whom they believe have evaded taxes on their crypto profits.
If you’re an affected individual, it’s important to understand your tax obligations and how to comply with the ATO’s requirements.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about crypto taxes in Australia, including:
What is the ATO’s stance on crypto taxes?
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently released updated guidance on how it will treat cryptocurrencies for tax purposes. The ATO’s position is that cryptocurrencies are commodities and should be taxed. Any gains or losses from buying, selling, or trading cryptocurrencies will be treated as capital gains or losses and subject to capital gains tax.
What types of taxes apply to cryptocurrency?
There are currently three types of taxes that may apply to your cryptocurrency transactions:
-Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
-Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Depending on your specific circumstances, you may have to pay one or more of these taxes.
Capital Gains Tax (CGT)
If you dispose of your cryptocurrency, you may have to pay CGT. This could happen if you:
-sell or gift cryptocurrency
-trade cryptocurrency for another cryptocurrency (including using it to purchase goods or services)
-convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency (e.g. AUD).
You don’t have to pay CGT on any gains from disposing of:
-personal use assets
-cryptocurrency you received as a result of a chain split
How can cryptocurrency investors reduce their tax liability?
There are a few different strategies that cryptocurrency investors can use to reduce their tax liability.
– One strategy is to invest in cryptocurrency through an investment fund. This can help reduce your tax liability because the fund will be taxed at a lower rate than if you held the cryptocurrency directly.
– Another strategy is to invest in cryptocurrency through a trust. This can also help reduce your tax liability because the trust will be taxed at a lower rate than you would be if you held the cryptocurrency directly.
– Hold your crypto investment for more than 12 months
– Finally, you can invest in cryptocurrency through a self-managed super fund (SMSF). This can help reduce your tax liability because the SMSF will be taxed at a lower rate than you would be if you held the cryptocurrency directly.
What tax planning strategies are available for cryptocurrency investors?
The ATO has indicated that it is taking a holistic approach to cryptocurrency taxes and is not singling out digital currencies for special treatment. However, cryptocurrency investors can use some tax planning strategies to minimise their tax liabilities.
Some common strategies include:
-Timing your transactions: Cryptocurrency investors can minimise their capital gains tax liabilities by timing their transactions carefully. For example, if you sell your digital currency holdings after 12 months, you will pay capital gains tax at your marginal tax rate on any profits you make. However, hold onto your digital currencies for more than 12 months before selling. You will be eligible for the capital gains tax discount, which allows you to reduce your taxable Capital Gain by 50%. This can result in significant savings for long-term investors.
-Using crypto annotations: Annotations allow you to specify how your cryptocurrency holdings were acquired and what type of cryptocurrency they are. The ATO can use this information to determine whether you are eligible for certain CGT concessions. For example, suppose you acquired your digital currency as part of a business transaction. In that case, you may be able to claim a small business CGT concession, which could dramatically reduce your CGT liability.
-Trading frequently: If you trade frequently, you may be able to take advantage of the “active asset” exemption from CGT. This exemption applies if you carry on a business of buying and selling cryptocurrency (or other assets) and meet certain conditions. If you qualify for this exemption, you will not have to pay CGT on any profits you make from trading cryptocurrency.
-Separating personal and investment holdings: Keeping good records of your personal and investment-related cryptocurrency holdings is important. This will ensure that any profits made on the disposal of your investment holdings are only taxed at the applicable Capital Gains Tax rate rather than at your marginal tax rate.
What are the ATO’s compliance priorities when it comes to cryptocurrency taxes?
The ATO’s primary focus is ensuring that cryptocurrency investors pay the correct tax on their gains. To that end, they have prioritised auditing individuals and businesses they believe have not been correctly declaring their cryptocurrency-related income and expenses.
In addition, the ATO is also interested in ensuring that cryptocurrency exchanges correctly report their transactions to the relevant authorities. This is in line with their broader efforts to crack down on tax avoidance and ensure that all Australians are paying their fair share of tax.
How can cryptocurrency investors ensure they are meeting their tax obligations?
With the recent popularity of cryptocurrencies, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has reminded investors that they must meet their tax obligations when trading or investing in digital currencies.
Cryptocurrencies are treated as property for tax purposes, which means any gains or losses from buying, selling or exchanging them are taxed. If you buy a cryptocurrency for $10,000 and it goes up to $20,000, you will be liable for capital gains tax (CGT) on the $10,000 profit.
The ATO has said that it will be paying close attention to cryptocurrency transactions this year and has urged investors to ensure they keep accurate records of all their trades. They have also set up a dedicated task force to investigate cases of tax evasion and money laundering involving digital currencies.
If you are unsure about your tax obligations regarding cryptocurrencies, you should speak to a qualified accountant or tax advisor.
What happens if cryptocurrency investors don’t pay their taxes?
The ATO has said that it will monitor cryptocurrency investors and take action if it believes taxes are being evaded. This could involve anything from issuing fines to criminal prosecution. The ATO has also said it will share information with other government agencies, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to crack down on tax evaders.
What resources are available to help cryptocurrency investors with their taxes?
The ATO has some resources available to help cryptocurrency investors with their taxes, including a dedicated page on its website and a dedicated phone line.
The ATO website provides a range of information for cryptocurrency investors, including:
-An overview of how the ATO views cryptocurrencies
-A list of resources for understanding cryptocurrency taxes
-A list of common questions about cryptocurrency taxes
-A dedicated phone line for cryptocurrency tax enquiries