On 19 June 2019, Mr Peter Murray of legal firm: Hall & Wilcox, presented his paper: ‘Taxation of Cryptocurrencies’ to the Melbourne Tax Discussion Group. This paper, and the slides he presented, are set out below.
Many will be aware of Bitcoin and that it operates through software called ‘blockchain’. Similarly, many will know that the Commissioner of Taxation treats ‘bitcoin’ as an ‘asset’ but not ‘money’ or ‘foreign currency’. You might also be aware that the GST Act has been changed, to recognise ‘digital currencies’ (s195-1) – excluding the supply of ‘digital currencies’ as a ‘supply’ – in broadly the same circumstances as ‘money’ (s9-10(4)).
However, there are many more ‘cryptocurrencies’ than Bitcoin, and that there is a cryptocurrencies landscape, that is like a combination of the science fiction and the ‘wild west’. Peter says: ‘tax advisors will be faced with issues that require at least a basic understanding of this area’ before the applicable tax law can be applied.
This paper is very valuable for getting into this space.
See below for the paper and slides