Scary ATO email coming for Aussies

Hundreds of thousands of Australians are set to receive a stern warning from the Australian Taxation Office in the coming weeks as the tax man takes on cryptocurrency traders.

The ATO is in the process of contacting up to 350,000 individuals either by letter or email to “remind them” of their taxation obligations when they trade in cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin.

Cryptocurrencies are considered to be a form of property and therefore an asset for capital gains tax purposes.

That means any financial gains made from the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies will generally be subject to capital gains tax and must be reported to the ATO.

Examples include selling, trading or exchanging cryptocurrency, converting it into Australian dollars or a foreign currency or using it to obtain goods or services.

An ATO spokesman told investors in cryptocurrency should ensure they keep good records when they buy, sell or trade cryptocurrencies to make it a lot easier come tax time.

Those records should include receipts of purchase or transfer of cryptocurrency, exchange records, records of agent, accountant and legal costs, digital wallet records and keys, the date of the transactions, the value of the cryptocurrency in Australian dollars at the time of the transaction and what the transaction was for and who the other party was.

“In April last year we published our Data Matching Protocol for cryptocurrency. Under this program we obtain cryptocurrency transaction data from currency exchanges on taxpayers who have bought and sold cryptocurrency,” the ATO spokesman said.

“Using this data we’ve found that due to the complex nature of cryptocurrencies, some people may not be aware that there may be tax obligations, so our campaign is designed to help raise awareness and give people the opportunity to fix any mistakes.

“You can read more about your obligations in respect to cryptocurrency on our website or if you use a tax agent, you can…

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