Tax Time is Approaching as ATO Targets Aussie Crypto Investors

Monday 03 May 2021, 11:00 AM AEST - 1 week ago

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is sharpening its focus on cryptocurrency transactions as Tax deadlines are approaching. Attempting to stop “incorrect tax deductions and claims”, the agency will data-match transactions from different third parties such as crypto exchanges.

ATO assistant commissioner, Tim Loh, said cryptocurrencies are taxable when swapped in crypto exchanges, converted to fiat money or used to acquire goods and services. Bitcoin and other assets are included as capital gains next to sharemarkets and property prices — which have also seen an increase in price since last year.

Can’t Hide Your Crypto

According to Mark Chapman, H&R Block director of tax communications, the ATO will receive detailed records of crypto transactions from third parties such as state revenue offices, accommodation platforms, and crypto exchanges. The agency will then data match with the taxpayer’s tax returns.

You really do need to get it right because the chances are the ATO will know about it anyway through all these third parties

Mark Chapman, H&R Block director of tax communications [The Australian]

Chapman added that ATO’s data matching capabilities have “improved with time” and any crypto-enthusiast who gets caught cheating will face audits, fines, and penalty interest.

As previously reported, the ATO was looking to pressure Aussie crypto-investors since February as digital assets were booming in the country. The agency plans to target up to 1 million Australians who have invested in crypto through an enhanced data-matching program.

It seems so-called money-laundering schemes also sparked the ATO’s interest in scrutinising crypto investigation through cryptocurrencies. According to on-chain data, criminal activity represented only 0.34% of all cryptocurrency transaction volume in 2020.

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