FinTech Australia comment on ATO cryptocurrency taskforce

FinTech Australia and one of its members, Blockchain Global, provided the following comments to InnovationAus in response to media reports that the Australian Tax Office has set up a taskforce to examine tax issues around cryptocurrencies.

FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho said:

“We have reached out to the ATO and are very keen to be part of such a taskforce, along with receiving further clarity about who is on the taskforce and how it will operate.

FinTech Australia CEO Danielle Szetho

“While we welcome the interest from the ATO in digital currencies, we do think there is a need for the ATO to consult with industry before important announcements.

“For instance, the ATO recently released additional guidance on capital gains tax, and whilst we appreciate further guidance given the clarity it provides, we would have preferred the ATO undertake further consultation with industry before releasing it.

“Australia is recognised world-wide as a progressive blockchain market, and this reputation has come from the close working relationship between industry, government and regulators to strike a balance between innovation and investor protection.”

Blockchain Global CEO Sam Lee said:

Blockchain Global CEO Sam Lee

“Having founded in 2014 the not for profit Blockchain Centre as the world’s first knowledge hub for blockchain technology, we have since provided information to tens of thousands of people who visited our centres located in Melbourne, Shanghai, Suzhou, Vilnius and Kuala Lumpur.

“These centres commonly receive questions, and provide advice, on tax issues.

“We look forward to collaborating with the ATO task force to work out the best way for the general public to learn about their tax implications on their investments.”

On 21 December, the ATO provided updated advice on the tax implications (including the potential of payment of capital gains tax) as a result of holding cryptocurrencies.