Australian Tax Office (ATO) issues further clarity on bitcoin taxation

What seemed like constant back and forth modifications and officials changing their minds on a regular basis, the Australian Tax Office (ATO) finally somewhat released a little bit of clarity on how taxpayers can correctly address their bitcoin holdings on their income tax returns.

Last month, the deadline for the guidance paper was Jun. 30, but the ATO effectively delayed the notice, which left many people upset and still confused as to how they should proceed filing their digital currency on their tax returns.

Bitcoin Although full guidance from the ATO has yet to be posted, it published a “Completed Matters” page on its official website. This comes as Australian businesses, lawyers and bitcoin groups urged the federal government to finally provide its clarity on bitcoin taxation rules after they were promised for months.

After finishing the consultation process with cryptocurrency industry professionals and associations on Apr. 29, the ATO noted that the important information for tax returns are date transactions, the dollar amount, what it was for and who the other party was.

The ATO confirmed that it has sought further legal advice, but stated that it would issue its final guidance paper in time for taxpayers to complete their 2013-2014 income tax returns.
If Australian bitcoiners have any questions then they have been referred to senior assistant commissioner Michael Hardy, who can be contacted at

Jason Williams, the president of Bitcoin Association of Australia, released a statement commenting that the ATO should take its time because it “will be an influential benchmark” set for other countries.

“As digital currencies such as Bitcoin are now a permanent part of our financial landscape, it is important for Australian regulators and legislators to foster and nurture growth. The ATO’s position will deliver one of the first precedents in the Australian legal and regulatory landscape and will be an influential benchmark. As such, it is important not to rush decisions.”