Digital currency no longer subject to double tax

The Government has announced that the GST treatment of digital currency, such as Bitcoin, is now the same as using money for purchases of goods and services.

Businesses that use digital currencies will no longer need to pay GST twice, as of 1 July 2017.

The Commissioner of Taxation accepts that affected taxpayers may lodge BAS in accordance with either the current law or in accordance with the new law from 1 July 2017 until the corresponding amendments made to the GST Regulations are registered.

The following will apply if the GST Regulations are registered:

  • Taxpayers who correctly anticipated the law do not need to act.

  • Those who did not anticipate the law, i.e., acted in accordance with the current law, will be required to lodge requests for an amended assessment.

Taxpayers may receive a refund of overpaid GST provided the amendment results in a reduction in liability (subject to restrictions). If the amendment results in an increase to your liability, no tax shortfall penalties will apply and any general interest charge associated with the shortfall will be remitted to nil for a period up until 28 days after the amending Regulations are registered.

Cristy Houghton