Review of the Tax Treatment of Digital Assets and Transactions in Australia

On 21 March 2022, the Government released the Terms of Reference for a review to be undertaken by the Board of Taxation (the Board) into the appropriate policy framework for the taxation of digital assets and transactions in Australia.

Background

On 8 December 2021, the Treasurer announced as part of a broader response to a review on Australia’s payments system and the regulation of digital assets, that the Government would task the Board of Taxation with undertaking a review into the appropriate policy framework for the taxation of digital transactions and assets in Australia.

Terms of Reference

With reference to Australia’s strong competitive position as an early adopter of digital innovations relative to other jurisdictions, the scope of digital transactions and assets, and without increasing the overall tax burden, the Board is asked to:

  • Consider the current Australian taxation treatment of digital assets and transactions and emerging tax policy issues;
  • Consider the awareness of the taxation treatment by both retail and wholesale investors and those transacting in digital assets as part of their business;
  • Consider the characteristics and features of digital assets and transactions in the market, including the rapid evolution of technology supporting the broader digital asset ecosystem;
  • Analyse the taxation of digital assets and transactions in comparative jurisdictions and consider how international experience may inform the taxation of digital assets and transactions in Australia; and
  • Consider whether or not any changes to Australia’s taxation laws and/or their administration are warranted in the context of digital assets and transactions, both for retail and wholesale investors.

Consultation

In carrying out the terms of reference, the Board should consult with taxpayers, tax representative bodies, industry stakeholders and academics. 

Timing

The Board is asked to report back to the Government by the end of 2022.

Feedback and Further Information

Stakeholders are invited to provide early feedback by way of an email on key issues to TaxDigitalAssets@taxboard.gov.au.

If you would like further information, please contact the Board of Taxation Secretariat at TaxDigitalAssets@taxboard.gov.au or +61 2 6263 4366.