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Crypto assets data-matching program objectives

The purpose and objectives of our crypto assets data-matching program.

Last updated 25 April 2024

Program objectives

Our data-matching programs help us fulfil our responsibility to protect public revenue and maintain community confidence in the integrity of the tax and super systems.

The objectives of the crypto asset data-matching program are to:

  • promote voluntary compliance by communicating how we use external data with our own, to help encourage taxpayers to comply with their tax and super obligations
  • identify and educate those individuals and businesses that may be failing to meet their registration and/or lodgment obligations, and assist them to comply
  • gain insights from the data that may help to develop and implement treatment strategies to improve voluntary compliance; this may include educational or compliance activities as appropriate
  • gain insights from the data to increase our understanding of the behaviours and compliance profiles of individuals and businesses that have bought, sold, or accepted payment via crypto
  • help ensure that individuals and businesses that trade or accept crypto assets as payment are fulfilling their tax lodgment, reporting and payment obligations.

Why we look at this data

The innovative and complex nature of crypto can lead to a genuine lack of awareness of the tax obligations associated with these activities. Also, the ability to purchase crypto assets using false information may make them attractive to those seeking to avoid their tax obligations.

As interest in crypto has increased, we have worked with partners to:

  • understand the tax implications
  • plan an appropriate regulatory response.

This ensures our approach is consistent with government policy and aligned to that of our partner agencies.

The tax consequences for taxpayers acquiring or disposing of crypto assets vary depending on the nature and circumstances of the transaction.

The crypto asset data-matching program will allow us to identify and address multiple tax risks:

  • Omitted or incorrect reporting of capital gains tax (CGT) – If you acquire crypto assets as an investment, you may have to pay tax on any capital gain you make on disposal of the crypto. Disposal occurs when
    • selling crypto assets for fiat currency
    • exchanging one crypto asset for another
    • gifting crypto assets
    • trading crypto assets
    • using crypto assets to pay for goods or services.
  • Omitted or incorrect reporting of income – In some situations crypto transactions can also give rise to ordinary income. Taxpayers who trade crypto assets or businesses that accept crypto assets as payment have obligations to report the income generated in their tax returns.
  • Omitted or incorrect reporting of goods and services tax (GST) – In some situations crypto transactions can give rise to GST. GST registered business who accept crypto assets as payment must account for GST on the supplies they make and declare these in their business activity statement. Certain crypto intermediaries make supplies that may be subject to GST and may be required to register for GST.
  • Omitted or incorrect reporting of fringe benefits tax (FBT) – When employees receive crypto assets as remuneration under a salary sacrifice arrangement, the payment of the crypto asset is a fringe benefit.