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Australia tax authorities demand client data from crypto exchanges

Australia tax authorities demand client data from crypto exchanges

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently requested personal data and transaction information from cryptocurrency exchanges, potentially involving up to 1.2 million accounts. This move aims to tighten enforcement against individuals who might be neglecting their tax obligations amidst the growing allure of digital tokens.

According to a notice issued by the ATO last month, the data is intended to assist in identifying traders who have not reported their crypto exchanges or the use of digital currency for purchases of goods and services. The ATO acknowledges the intricate nature of the crypto industry, which can contribute to a genuine lack of awareness regarding tax responsibilities.

The ATO highlighted concerns about the potential for individuals to exploit the anonymity of cryptocurrency transactions to evade tax obligations. It emphasized that the ease of purchasing crypto assets with false information could make them appealing to those seeking to circumvent tax laws.

What personal information does Australia want?

The information being sought includes personal details such as date of birth, phone numbers, and social media accounts, as well as transaction specifics like bank accounts, wallet addresses, and the type of cryptocurrency involved.

In Australia, digital currencies are treated as assets for tax purposes rather than foreign currency, meaning investors are liable for capital gains tax on profits from selling crypto assets and on digital asset trades.

The popularity of crypto assets in Australia has been on the rise. A treasury report from 2022 revealed that over 800,000 Australian taxpayers had engaged in digital asset transactions in the preceding three years, with a significant 63% increase observed in 2021.

Since September 2022, Australia, which previously installed very few new crypto ATMs for years, has been steadily increasing its number of cryptocurrency ATMs. Currently, the country boasts a remarkable 1,007 of these machines, reflecting a significant expansion in accessibility to digital assets.

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