by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong
05 August 2015
A Senate Committee in Australia has released a new report that recommends that the Australian Tax Office should replace its ruling on the goods and services tax treatment of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, with a ruling that treats such currencies in the same manner as traditional currency.
The release of the report follows a lengthy consultation period, including a hearing with industry representatives who warned that Australia faces losing out on financial technology opportunities if the country continues to place an excessive tax burden on virtual currency use, mining, and trading activities. The release of this report had been anticipated much earlier, in March 2015, but will nevertheless be welcomed by the bitcoin industry in Australia and internationally.
The ATO released comprehensive but general guidance on the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies in Australia, and specifically Bitcoin, on August 20, 2014. In