The Australian government is reportedly going to track down investors who may be liable to pay for their bitcoin tax, according to a report.
To ensure transparency within the market, the Australia Tax Office (ATO) will employ the use of identification and data-matching checks, reports Business Insider.
Speaking of the measures Paul Drum, a National Tax Liaison Group member, said that it was a ‘watershed moment for the ATO,’ who consider bitcoin as an asset rather than a currency, adding that it would:
…enable them to access and thoroughly review cryptocurrency exchange account data for the first time. The effectiveness of the anonymity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is starting to fade. These coming changes mean that people shouldn’t assume they can hide forever behind blockchain technology, nor should they assume there are no tax consequences.
News of this comes at a time when there has been increasing attention focused on the cryptocurrency market. At the end of December, bitcoin’s value skyrocketed to within touching distance of $20,000 for the first time amid heightened investor trading.
Since then, however, the market has slumped in value, with global regulators calling for the industry to be regulated to rein in speculative trading. At the time of publishing, bitcoin is trading at $11,339, with a market value of $191.6 billion. With many of the opinion that digital currencies such as bitcoin aren’t going to go away anytime soon, the ATO is not the only one that is considering measures to tax bitcoin investors.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also attempting to chase bitcoin tax investors. As the agency also considers bitcoin as a property, trading the coin for another cryptocurrency is taxable; however, it seems that not everyone is filling their bitcoin gains.
In a report from CNBC last month, it found that less than 100 of the 250,000 of the federal tax returns prepared and filed so far have filed crypto gains or losses through Credit Karma Tax.
Jagjit Chawla, Credit Karma Tax General Manager, said in a statement at the time:
Given the popularity of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2017, we’d expect more people to be reporting.
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