Australia Officially Ends Double Bitcoin Tax

From July 2018, Australians will no longer have to pay GST on their cryptocurrency purchases, following the passing of new legislation today.

Oct 19, 2017 at 11:05 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:03 a.m. UTC

From next year, Australians will no longer have to pay goods and services tax (GST) on cryptocurrency purchases.

Following the passing of new legislation in the country's parliament today, the long controversial "double taxation" of cryptocurrencies – first when buying it, then later when buying items subject to the tax – is finally coming to an end.

The situation arose from the previous law, enacted in 2014, which treated cryptocurrencies as bartered goods for GST purposes – legislation that quickly received criticism from technology advocates, and last year saw pledges from government officials to rectify the issue.

The Australian Senate Economics References Committee proposed a review of the situation this August, and the Treasury Department first set out new legislation to resolve the issue in May's budget.

With the passing of the new bill, as of July 1, 2018, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will now get the same GST treatment as foreign currencies, The Australian reports.

The move comes amidst a larger, international conversation about the tax treatment of blockchain-enabled assets, and the various approaches regulators can (or should) take.

As recently as this summer, advocacy groups have taken aim at U.S. tax law for its application of property law in a 2014 ruling, though individual states appear to be proving more progressive on the matter.

Australian parliament image via Shutterstock

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