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ATO announces cryptocurrency data matching program

ATO announces cryptocurrency data matching program

By Florence Ioannou, Senior Manager Accounting at LDB Group

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) plans to gather data on Australian cryptocurrency investors to help them complete their tax returns correctly.

The Commissioner of Taxation announced the move in the ‘notice of a data matching program pertaining to cryptocurrency’ on 29 April 2019, as part of its data-matching program.

The ATO will collect data from Australian cryptocurrency Designated Service Providers (DSPs) to identify individuals or entities that may have purchased, sold or transferred cryptocurrency between the 2015 and 2020 financial years, or from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2020.

The ATO intends to match cryptocurrency data with information held on identifying taxpayers to assist them in meeting their tax and superannuation obligations.

The move will result in the pre-filling tax of returns to ensure the correct income details are disclosed for the estimated 500,000 to 1 million Australians that have invested in cryptocurrency.

The data will be collected under notice from Australian DSPs on an ongoing basis.

The Commissioner reportedly said that the ATO will be contacting a range of cryptocurrency service providers such as brokerage services, payment facilitators, exchange services and bitcoin ATM providers. This program will also involve the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre.

The cryptocurrency data matching program aims to promote and ensure compliance is adhered to and ensure trust in the tax and superannuation systems.

It will also assist the ATO to gain a greater understanding of the behaviours and compliance profiles of individuals and businesses that have bought, sold, transferred or accepted payment via cryptocurrency.

The following is an example of the information that the Australian DSPs are required to provide to the ATO:

  • Owner details (e.g. name, address, date of birth, Australian Business Number, contact numbers and email)
  • Account details (e.g. status of account, linked bank accounts and wallet address, lost/stolen cryptocurrency amounts linked to the account and unique identifier, account balance)
  • Transaction details (e.g. transaction date, time, type of cryptocurrency, amount in fiat and cryptocurrency, transfer type and transfer description).

If you have any questions or concerns about how this change may affect you, please contact LDB’s cryptocurrency specialist Florence Ioannou by phoning (03) 9875 2900.


Other related articles by Florence Ioannou:

How is cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, treated for income tax in Australia?

Taxation on cryptocurrency in self-managed super funds (SMSFs)

How changes to GST affects Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency


Disclaimer: Please note that the above information is general advice only and conditions may vary depending on an individual’s circumstances. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent professional advice from a suitably qualified professional and, as such, we advise you seek professional advice to obtain an accurate assessment. This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether any investment, asset or strategy or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal and financial situation. You should consult a suitably qualified professional regarding your specific legal, tax, financial or investment situation.

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