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Unlocking the Tax Maze: Cryptocurrency Compliance in Australia

June G. Bauer

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As tax season approaches, cryptocurrency owners in Australia are being urged to be vigilant and comply with tax regulations. With the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) prioritizing capital gains, including cryptocurrencies, individuals who have omitted crypto transactions from previous tax returns may face scrutiny.

According to Sky news, With millions of Australians estimated to invest in digital currencies, the ATO’s data-matching program monitors crypto transactions to ensure tax law compliance. Experts emphasize the importance of understanding capital gains rules and keeping accurate records to avoid potential penalties.

According to Danny Talwar, head of tax at crypto tax calculator Koinly, many Australian crypto owners mistakenly overlook the country’s capital gains rules and their application to digital currencies. While converting crypto into Australian dollars is commonly known to require reporting, individuals must also report instances where one cryptocurrency is used to purchase another. Talwar highlights the necessity of documenting the purchase price, sale price, and market value of the acquired crypto asset. Neglecting proper record-keeping can have serious consequences during tax time. To streamline the process and ensure compliance, utilizing a crypto tax calculator is highly recommended.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Tim Loh advises consulting with a registered tax agent to ensure compliance with tax regulations. Crypto assets are generally subject to capital gains tax, and activities involving crypto often result in taxable transactions. Even selling or withdrawing crypto at a crypto ATM may not qualify for the “personal use” asset exemption. Taxpayers are required to report gains or losses from disposing of crypto assets in their tax returns. Loh emphasizes the importance of maintaining comprehensive records of crypto dealings to accurately report during tax time.

In addition to the crackdown on crypto transactions, the ATO has identified three other priority areas this tax season. Changes to work-from-home deductions now require taxpayers to use the actual cost or revised fixed-rate method (up to 67 cents per hour) rather than the blanket 80-cents-per-hour rate. Record-keeping requirements have also been updated, with Australians working from home obligated to maintain records of all hours worked throughout the financial year. Rental-property deductions, particularly interest-expense claims, are under scrutiny due to previous errors detected in up to 90 percent of landlords’ returns. Furthermore, the ATO will focus on ensuring accurate reporting of income earned from side-hustles and gig-economy work.

Pop cultureaholic, Technology expert, Web fanatic and a Social media geek. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email her at [email protected] or contact her on Twitter @JuneTBauer1

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Former IcomTech CEO Admits Guilt in Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme

sying.tien

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In a recent development, Marco Ochoa, the former CEO of IcomTech, has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. This admission of guilt is tied to the infamous Ponzi scheme orchestrated by IcomTech during Ochoa’s tenure as CEO, which lasted from the company’s inception in 2018 until 2019.

The U.S. Department of Justice, in an official statement, revealed that IcomTech enticed investors with the promise of daily returns on investment products, all under the guise of being a cryptocurrency mining and trading enterprise. To attract unsuspecting customers, the company went to great lengths, including hosting extravagant expos and community events on a global scale. Additionally, IcomTech introduced its own digital token, known as an “Icom.”

However, the shocking truth emerged that the company did not engage in cryptocurrency mining activities as claimed. Worse yet, investors found themselves unable to access the profits they believed were accumulating in their accounts. This deceitful scheme eventually unraveled, leading to the company’s collapse in late 2019.

In the aftermath, legal charges were filed against Marco Ochoa and other high-ranking IcomTech executives in November 2022. As a result of his guilty plea, Ochoa now faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

This latest revelation serves as a stark reminder of the importance of due diligence when investing in the cryptocurrency space. It highlights the need for investors to exercise caution and skepticism, especially when confronted with promises of unrealistically high returns. As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve, staying informed and making informed decisions remains paramount to protect oneself from fraudulent schemes like the one perpetrated by IcomTech.

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Robert Kiyosaki’s Bold Prediction: Citibank Tokens vs. Bitcoin and the US Dollar

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In a recent tweet that sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency community, renowned author and financial literacy advocate Robert Kiyosaki ignited a spirited debate about the future of Bitcoin and the US dollar. The tweet read:

This bold statement has raised questions about the impact of traditional financial institutions like Citibank embracing blockchain technology and its potential implications for both Bitcoin and the US dollar.

Citibank, one of the world’s leading financial institutions, made headlines by announcing its entry into the blockchain arena. The bank revealed its plans to leverage blockchain technology to create Citibank tokens, which will be backed by institutional savings. These tokens aim to facilitate instantaneous cross-border transactions, operating 24/7 without the limitations of traditional banking hours or international borders.

Bitcoin, often hailed as “digital gold” and a store of value, has faced both optimism and skepticism since its inception. While some see it as the future of global finance, others view it as a speculative asset prone to volatility. Citibank’s move to introduce its blockchain-based tokens could potentially challenge Bitcoin’s status as the premier digital asset.

Citibank’s tokens, backed by the credibility and stability of a major financial institution, may attract investors seeking a more secure and regulated digital asset. This development could lead to increased competition between Bitcoin and Citibank’s blockchain-based tokens, potentially impacting Bitcoin’s market dominance.

The US dollar, long considered the world’s primary reserve currency, has faced its share of challenges in recent years, including inflation concerns and geopolitical uncertainties. Citibank’s blockchain technology could potentially offer an alternative means for cross-border transactions that is not reliant on the US dollar.

As more institutions adopt blockchain-based solutions like Citibank’s, the traditional financial system’s reliance on the US dollar may gradually diminish. This could have far-reaching consequences for the global financial landscape, including potential shifts in currency preferences and a reduced role for the US dollar in international trade.

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Kuwait Authorities Unanimously Ban the Use of Virtual Assets

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In a collective effort, the regulatory authorities in Kuwait, represented by the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Capital Markets Authority, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Insurance Regulation Unit, have issued directives to ban the use cryptocurrencies and other unregulated virtual assets within the country.

The Kuwaiti Capital Markets Authority stated in an announcement released on Tuesday that these recommendations are provided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The issued directives impose an “absolute ban” on most digital currency transactions, including their use for payments or investments, as well as the prohibition of mining activities. Additionally, the regulatory authority restricts local authorities from granting licenses to companies seeking to provide services related to virtual assets as business activities.

The announcement states that the comprehensive ban does not include securities and other financial instruments regulated by the Central Bank of Kuwait and the Capital Markets Authority. The primary objective of these directives is to safeguard users from the risks associated with virtual assets. These proactive measures represent a significant step by the Kuwaiti authorities to mitigate the risks linked to investing in such assets, often used for speculative purposes.

The continuous awareness campaigns launched by regulatory authorities in Kuwait caution cryptocurrency users, especially those dealing with popular digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and others, about the potential risks associated with their usage and investment.

Moreover, since 2017, the Central Bank of Kuwait has prohibited commercial banks and other financial institutions from processing any transactions involving Bitcoin. In May 2021, the bank reaffirmed the illegality of digital currencies in the country.

Before the ban, Kuwait did not impose taxes on income derived from digital currencies, leaving the door open for investors in the crypto space.

Mining companies had previously shown interest in establishing a base in Kuwait due to its low electricity costs. However, the recent campaign has closed the door on crypto investments and mining activities within Kuwait.

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