Australian Tax Office Cautions Crypto Investors to Declare Capital Gains

The ATO is once again renewing calls for Australian investors to correctly report their crypto capital gains or losses


Sydney, Australia | Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • The Australian Tax Office has issued a warning to the country’s crypto investors to correctly declare their capital gains or losses
  • Crypto is one of four main areas the agency is focusing on which also includes record keeping, work related expenses and rental property income

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has renewed calls to the country’s crypto investors warning them to report capital gains or losses on their crypto trading activity.

In a statement on Sunday, the ATO’s Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh said his agency will focus on four areas including record keeping, work-related expenses, rental property income and deductions as well as capital gains from crypto assets, property and shares.

“Crypto is a popular type of asset and we expect to see more capital gains or capital losses reported in tax returns this year,” said Loh.

The warning follows a series of similar messages from the agency in recent years. Last year, the ATO – the governmental agency that oversees the country’s federal tax collection — issued 100,000 letters to crypto holders, reminding them of their tax obligations. The agency also asked a further 300,000 individuals to correctly report their crypto earnings.

The agency claims it has stepped up its capacity to monitor individuals’ crypto trading activity including soliciting information from exchanges as well as utilizing its “data-matching program protocol.”

Under Australian tax law, those working within the country need to record their capital gains or losses whenever they dispose of an asset, which in later years has included crypto.

A capital gain or capital loss is the difference between what an investor pays for the asset at the time of purchase and what an investor receives when they dispose of it.

Australians are unable to offset their crypto losses against their salary and wages, the commissioner cautioned.

Loh also said his agency was aware that “many” Australians have been actively buying, selling or exchanging crypto including NFTs in this financial year.

The country’s financial years run from July 1 to June 30 the following year, meaning domestic traders and investors have roughly 45 days to correctly file a return.

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