On face value, it would appear the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is still just as confused as the average punter about cryptocurrency tax obligations.
Take a look at the ATO’s community page, where the public can ask the ATO cryptocurrency taxation questions. Currently, there are 93 ‘unsolved’ crypto tax enquiries, compared to just 24 ‘solved’ enquiries.
The crypto community can now only hope the ‘power of the people’ can assist the ATO in creating a modern, simplistic and innovative system for cryptocurrency taxation.
On Friday, March 16, 2018, the ATO opened community consultation on what it labelled “substantiating cryptocurrency taxation events”. The consultation period has just closed (Friday, April 20).
A multitude of stakeholders from big business and popular crypto influencers to mum and dad investors have made submissions, leaving tax office officials with a mammoth task ahead.
One stellar submission they’ll be forced to take note of is a joint submission put together by Byron Bay chartered accountant, Michaela Rankin and three cryptocurrency investors, Indunil Weerasinghe, Timothy Marbury, and Neil Walbaum.
Speaking to Micky, Queenslander, Neil Walbaum said the idea to get involved in the ATO cryptocurrency consultation came about at a local blockchain meet-up.
“A few members of our local blockchain Meetup Group collaborated with chartered accountant Michaela Rankin to support the ATO’s initiative to ask the public for opinions regarding taxation of cryptocurrencies,” he said.
“Ultimately, we want the ATO to recognise that since investing in cryptocurrency is new and unique, it commands a new and unique system to fair and easy taxation.
“There is an opportunity for the ATO to be a leader in its approach to adopting crypto and we want to help as much as we can.”
Australian’s who like what they see in the 21-page submission can throw their weight behind it through an online petition, which the team has created.
“We want to support the ATO’s initiative and help the crypto community and realised that we could have a louder voice by preparing a joint submission and allowing anyone who agrees with our opinion of a simpler and fairer tax system to support us by signing the petition,” said Mr Walbaum.
Currently, the petition has attracted more than 300 signatures, they’re aiming for 500.
It’s professional grassroots advocacy the ATO can’t ignore.