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Australia’s Tax Office Targets 1.2 Million Crypto Users in Compliance Crackdown

Australia’s tax authorities are stepping up their efforts to address tax compliance among cryptocurrency users, reflecting a global trend towards stricter regulation of digital assets.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is seeking detailed personal and transaction data from up to 1.2 million users of cryptocurrency exchanges.

This initiative is part of a broader attempt to identify those who may have skirted tax obligations on their crypto trades, as detailed in a notice issued last month, which was obtained by Reuters.

The ATO’s data request includes not only basic identity information like users’ birth dates, but also extends to their social media accounts, phone numbers, and financial particulars such as wallet addresses, the types of coins traded, and associated bank account details.

The notice explains that cryptocurrencies, unlike traditional foreign currencies, are considered taxable assets in Australia.

This classification means that profits from cryptocurrency sales are subject to capital gains tax.

This move by the ATO coincides with significant profits in the cryptocurrency markets, highlighted by substantial increases in the values of major cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, for instance, has seen a 44% increase since the start of the year, while Ether’s value has risen by 32%.

Additionally, the market capitalization of other significant altcoins (excluding Bitcoin and Ether) has climbed over 27%, according to TradingView.

READ MORE: Bullish Momentum Looms: Bitcoin’s Price Eyeing Upsurge on Inverse Head-and-Shoulders Confirmation

The ATO notice points to the potential for using cryptocurrencies for tax evasion due to the possibility of purchasing crypto assets under false identities.

This concern is not isolated to Australia, as similar regulatory actions are taking place globally.

For example, the Canada Revenue Agency’s compliance branch director general, Sahil Behal, disclosed that the agency is conducting over 400 crypto-related audits and investigating numerous crypto investors to recover unpaid taxes.

This action builds on the discovery of an estimated $39.5 million in unpaid taxes from the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

In Turkey, upcoming legislation expected later this year aims to establish a legal framework for taxing cryptocurrencies, recognizing the country’s position as a significant player in the crypto economy.

Meanwhile, in the United States, there are proposals to increase the long-term capital gains tax rate to 44.6% for high earners, alongside a potential 25% tax on unrealized gains for extremely wealthy individuals.

According to Matthew Walrath, founder of Crypto Tax Made Easy, despite these stringent proposals, they are unlikely to affect the vast majority of people, describing them as “a big, fat nothing burger” since they are still merely proposals.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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