The ATO estimates more than 600,000 Australian taxpayers have invested in crypto assets in recent years, some of whom have failed to declare their capital gain.
“While it appears that cryptocurrency operates in an anonymous digital world, we closely track where it interacts with the real world through data from banks, financial institutions and cryptocurrency online exchanges to follow the money back to the taxpayer,” warns Tim Loh, ATO’s assistant commissioner.
The ATO has had a data-matching program in place to track cryptocurrency transactions since early 2019, and receives bulk records from Australian-designated service providers as part of the program.
Data provided to the ATO includes cryptocurrency wallet information, including names and addresses, bank details and transaction information in relation to purchases, sales and transfers.
The ATO also uses information collected from international tax jurisdictions, including Common Reporting Standard and Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act in the US, as well as data collected through the double tax agreements, to identify when cryptocurrency transactions are converted to a foreign currency or repatriated back to Australia.
“This year, we have written to about 100,000 taxpayers with cryptocurrency assets explaining their tax obligations and urging them to review their previously lodged returns,” the ATO says.
“We also expect to prompt more than 500,000 taxpayers as they lodge their 2021 tax return to review their cryptocurrency transactions and correctly report any capital gains or losses.”