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Australian Tax Office Requests Data on 1.2 Million Crypto Accounts for Tax Compliance

In a major move to enforce tax compliance, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued a comprehensive data request to cryptocurrency exchanges for personal information and transaction records of up to 1.2 million accounts. This initiative targets the growing number of Australians investing in digital currencies, aiming to crack down on those who may be evading tax obligations.

The ATO is seeking extensive data from cryptocurrency exchanges operating in Australia. The focus is on Australian residents who are active in trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.

The ATO’s request includes personal data such as dates of birth, phone numbers, social media profiles, and detailed transaction records including bank account details, wallet addresses, and types of coins traded. This information is intended to help identify individuals who have not reported their transactions or paid the necessary taxes on their crypto-related activities.

The notice was issued last month, as part of the ATO’s ongoing efforts to integrate more comprehensive tax compliance measures for cryptocurrency transactions, reflecting the agency’s adaptation to the evolving digital currency landscape.

This measure affects cryptocurrency exchanges and traders throughout Australia, a country where crypto assets have seen significant adoption and trading activity.

The ATO has expressed concerns that the complexity of the cryptocurrency market might lead to genuine confusion about tax obligations. Additionally, the anonymity features that some platforms offer can attract individuals looking to evade taxes. By obtaining detailed account and transaction information, the ATO aims to ensure that all taxpayers meet their obligations and that crypto assets are properly reported and taxed in line with Australian laws.

Australia treats digital currencies as assets for tax purposes, meaning that capital gains tax applies to profits made from selling crypto assets or trading them. The ATO’s move to request detailed data from exchanges is part of broader efforts to track and tax these capital gains accurately.

This request follows findings from a 2022 government study indicating that crypto trading is sharply rising in Australia, with over 800,000 taxpayers involved in digital asset transactions in the past three years. The data collection by the ATO is a critical step in aligning the fast-growing cryptocurrency sector with Australia’s tax framework, aiming to capture a fair contribution from gains accrued in this increasingly popular investment avenue.

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