Australian government publishes guidelines for bitcoin businesses

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Image source: is the Australian government’s official portal for all forms of business in the country down under. It’s the definitive source for details on starting a new business in kangaroo country, providing guides and FAQs for nearly any business-related topic imaginable. This week, the website published its first guide to accepting bitcoin and other digital currencies, strongly suggesting that Australia’s regulators and tax authorities view cryptocurrency as something that is here to stay.

The guide provides an overview of what bitcoin is, how the currency and network function, what the risks of accepting bitcoin are, and how the Australian government and tax authorities treat cryptocurrencies under current regulations. The page also offers clear guidance on paying employees in bitcoin, a process that remains somewhat unclear in the U.S. and other major nations. The site also provides a variety of helpful links to more specific information about topics like mining and QR codes.

For most businesses considering adopting bitcoin, the site includes a very clear set of details about how the Australian Tax Office’s requirements for bitcoin reporting. According to the guide, businesses simply need to record the date of the transaction, the amount of the transaction in Australian dollars, details about what the transaction was for, and basic information about the other party in the transaction. Interestingly, the rules note that bitcoin address is all that is required to legally identify the other party in a transaction.

There are several tax and accounting programs in the works that would allow most Australian businesses to easily comply with these four rules. Additional revisions to the rules may be forthcoming, however, as Australia’s tax authorities and lawmakers are currently debating how bitcoin will be treated under export laws.

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