Earnings on bitcoin transfers
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. There are three ways to get bitcoin: 1 By mining them.
This refers to the process by which bitcoins are created, in which a computer crunches through a set of difficult mathematical problems and success is rewarded with a bitcoin. Buyers pay for bitcoins by transferring money via online banking.
Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly accepted virtual currency used by businesses and individuals around the world, including in Australia.
As of Februaryovermerchants and vendors accepted bitcoin as payment. According to research produced by Cambridge University inthere are 2.
Lea D. Professionally, Lea has occupied both the tax law analyst and tax law adviser role. Lea has years of experience helping clients navigate the tax world. Article Reviewed on July 31, Lea D. There are therefore tax consequences whenever Bitcoin is bought, sold, or traded.
Generally, there are no income tax or GST implications if you are not in business or carrying on an enterprise and you simply pay for goods or services in bitcoin for example, acquiring personal goods or services on the internet using bitcoin. Bitcoin is a regarded as a capital gains tax CGT asset, so CGT potentially applies whenever an Australian resident sends a bitcoin to another person.
However, transactions are exempt from capital gains tax if: Bitcoins are used to pay for goods or services for personal use — e. The capital gain is calculated as the increase in value of the bitcoins between the time they were acquired and the time at which they were disposed.
The value in Australian dollars will be the fair market value at which they can be obtained from a reputable bitcoin exchange.
Special Considerations Bitcoin is a virtual currency that uses a cryptographic encryption system to facilitate secure transfers and storage. Bitcoins are generated by what is called mining—a process wherein high-powered computers, on a distributed network, use an open-source mathematical formula to produce bitcoins. Bitcoins can be used like fiat world currency to buy goods and services. Treasury acknowledged the growing importance of bitcoin when it announced that bitcoin-related transactions and investments cannot be deemed illegal.
There may also be capital gains tax consequences when you dispose of earnings on bitcoin transfers for business purposes. Any expenses incurred as a result of the mining activity are allowed as a deduction.
Bitcoin held due to earnings on bitcoin transfers business of mining and selling bitcoin is considered to be trading stock and needs to be brought into account at the end of each income year. Any expenses incurred as a result of the exchange service, including the acquisition of bitcoin for sale, are deductible.
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There are other factors to take into account but broadly, if you are holding the bitcoin with a view to long-term gain, you are likely to be an investor and if you are buying and selling bitcoin over the short term with a view to making profits, you are likely to be a trader.
If you acquire bitcoin as an investment, any profits resulting from the sale are not assessable income and no deductions can be claimed.
The capital gain is calculated as the increase in value of the bitcoins between the time they were acquired and the time they were sold. If the transactions amount to a profit-making undertaking or plan, then the profits on disposal of the bitcoin will be assessable income and you will be regarded as a trader in bitcoin rather than an investor.
RECORD KEEPING Anyone dealing with bitcoin needs to keep the following records: The date of each transaction The amount in Australian dollars at the time of the transaction which can be taken from a reputable online exchange Details of the transaction, Any associated expenses, like fees and commissions, and Details of the other party the bitcoin public address is enough.