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Bitcoins and tax

Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system, which the US Treasury has called a “decentralised virtual currency”. The media often refers to Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency or digital currency.

The ATO recently issued a guidance paper, basically stating that bitcoin transactions are treated as barter transactions with similar taxation consequences.

As far as record-keeping is concerned, the ATO says that businesses should keep records of:

  • the date of the transaction
  • the amount in Australian dollars
  • what the transaction was for and
  • who the other party was (even if it is just the bitcoin address).

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