THE Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is collecting bulk records from Australian cryptocurrency designated service providers (DSPs) as part of a data matching program to ensure people trading in cryptocurrency are paying the right amount of tax.
Data to be provided to the ATO will include cryptocurrency purchase and sale information. Deputy Commissioner Will Day said the data will make up a key element in the ATO’s compliance program.
“The ATO uses third party data to improve the integrity of the tax system by identifying taxpayers who fail to disclose their income details correctly," Mr Day said. "We also use third-party data to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations through pre-filling of tax returns.
“This data will be collected under notice from the DSPs on an ongoing basis,” he said.
There has been significant growth in participation of crypto-assets in recent years. It is estimated that there are between 500,000 to one million Australians that have invested in crypto-assets.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is seen as an enabler of existing risks for the ATO. Cryptocurrency has been used to move funds within the black economy, hide money offshore, and is sometimes linked to risks with unexplained wealth and undeclared taxable capital gains.
The ATO will be working with other regulators, in particular the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) to ensure that tax law requirements align with a whole of system approach.
“The ATO is also working in a joint international effort as part of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), aimed at investigating cryptocurrency-related tax evasion and money laundering,” Mr Day said.
Following the data matching exercise people may be contacted by the ATO and given the opportunity to verify the information collected, before any compliance action is undertaken. People will be given at least 28 days to clarify any information that has been obtained from the data provider.
“We want to help taxpayers to get it right and ensure they are paying the correct amount of tax,” Mr Day said.
“Where people find that they have made an error or omission in their tax return they should contact the ATO as soon as possible. Penalties may be significantly reduced in circumstances where we are contacted prior to an audit.”
People can correct a mistake by requesting a self-amendment or making a voluntary disclosure, and can also contact us if they need help paying their tax.
Details of the ATO’s data matching strategies are published at www.ato.gov.au/datamatching
THE Queensland Resources Council has commended Queensland Rail (QR) on today's (April 29) opening of the vital economic rail link between Mount Isa and Townsville after it was severely damaged by the north Queensland floods.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said QR CEO Nick Easy and his team "worked tirelessly to not only repair the rail but lifted its end of run times".
“I personally thank Nick and the 400-person QR team who were immediately tasked to rebuild the rail and carry out widespread improvements from remote temporary accommodation camps,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“As a result of the 11-week operation the opening is ahead of schedule and will result in reduced transport times by around 50 minutes.
“This rail line is a key transport corridor for Queensland’s metals industry which contributed $9.3 billion to the state’s economy last financial year, supported more than 50,000 full-time jobs and paid $1.3 billion in wages.
“Additionally, the metals industry pays royalty taxes to the Queensland Government which are on target to reach a new record of $5.2 billion this year which pay for schools, hospitals and roads."
QR said the record monsoonal event damaged 200 sites across the 300km track including repairs to 38 bridge abutments, the replacement of 47 km of rail and 120,000 tonnes of ballast.
The Queensland resources sector provides one in every six dollars in the Queensland economy, sustains one in eight Queensland jobs, and supports more than 16,400 businesses and community organisations across the state all from 0.1 percent of Queensland’s land mass, according to the QRC.
THE Queensland Resources Council has welcomed Federal Labor’s commitment to new resource discoveries as a boost for the state’s mining industry, but it has urged Labor to be clear on its position for the future role of coal.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said Queensland had a huge potential, particularly through the North West Minerals Province, to develop the new economy minerals so essential for the global growth in renewable energy technology, electric vehicles and battery storage.
“Prior to the election, the QRC urged the Coalition and Labor to embrace this opportunity, and we welcome the announcement by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten today,” he said.
“Any investment in additional investigation for resources, like $75 million for a road map for a new generation of mines, will help deliver new discoveries, new investment, new exports and new jobs for Queensland.”
Mr Macfarlane said in 2017-18, metals contributed $9.3 billion to Queensland’s gross regional product and supported more than 50,000 full-time equivalent jobs or the equivalent of 2 percent of Queensland’s workforce. The metals sector also contributed $370 million in royalties.
“Through policy and infrastructure – and fittingly the Townsville to Mount Isa rail line that is so important to that region reopens today after devastating floods earlier this year – we can grow that contribution to Queensland and Queenslanders,” he said.
Mr Macfarlane said he welcomed the role of CSIRO and Geoscience Survey in Federal Labor’s commitment, and he hoped there would be a prominent role for the State Government’s Queensland Geological Survey.
“CSIRO and Geoscience Australia are internationally renowned, so I welcome their planned role in Labor’s initiative. It dispels some of the criticism of their role in assessing the Carmichael Coal project’s Groundwater Management and Monitoring and Groundwater plan,” he said.
Mr Macfarlane said the contribution of metals continued to be dwarfed by the role of coal in the Queensland economy – coal contributed $43.4 billion to the Queensland economy and more than 215,000 full-time equivalent jobs or 9 percent of the state’s workforce. Coal royalties paid to the Queensland Government were $3.8 billion in 2017-18 and are expected to exceed $4 billion this financial year.
“During this Federal election campaign, where winning Queensland seats is so crucial, no Party should be vague about their commitment to coal,” he said.
“All parties, vying for Queensland support, should be clear on their own support for the development of new coal mines, particularly in the Galilee Basin, and the continuation of existing mines producing both thermal and metallurgical coal.”
QRC report on 2017-18 economic contribution of metals: https://www.qrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018_Metals_Contributions.pdf
QRC report on 2017-18 economic contribution of coal https://www.qrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2018_Coal_Contributions.pdf
INDUSTRY super fund, Vision Super, announced today they have hit $10 billion in funds under management.
Vision Super CEO Stephen Rowe said that while it was nice to achieve milestones, the number wasn’t really the focus.
“We’ve doubled our funds under management, from $5 billion to $10 billion in just five years, through organic growth and strong returns,” Mr Rowe said. “We’ve achieved this at the same time as paying out $1.25 billion worth of lifetime pensions and defined benefit lump sums to our retiring members.
“Hitting $10 billion is testament to the hard work and principled approach of our Investment team and our growth team, but it’s really just another number – what we’re focused on is returns for Vision Super’s members.
“Our default Balanced growth option has top quartile returns over the medium-term and has beaten the median over one, three, five and seven years – those are the really important numbers that mean more money in members’ accounts when they retire.
“Our members trust us to with the incredibly important role of looking after their retirement savings – and that trust is reflected in strong contributions and roll ins, which have contributed to us achieving $10 billion.
"We’re looking to grow significantly over the next few years - $10 billion is a nice milestone, but I’m hoping we hit some even bigger ones in the near future.”