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Australia’s budget 2017-18 removes GST on bitcoin purchases
After the Australian government’s recent indication towards eliminating bitcoin double taxation issue, the country’s national budget 2017-18 shows that the government is, in fact, removing goods-and-services tax (GST) on digital currency purchases, effective 01 July 2017.
“The Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia. From 1 July 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST, allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes. Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST”, the announcement reads.
The latest measure has been announced by the Australian Department of the Treasury. It is part of the government’s broader effort to position Australia as a “world-leader in innovation and FinTech”.
In addition to the tax cut, the government is also introducing a legislative financial services regulatory sandbox to enable new and innovative FinTech products and services to be tested in Australia. The initiative aims to reduce regulatory hurdles and help new businesses develop innovative financial products or services. The Australian Investments and Securities Commission (ASIC) launched a FinTech regulatory sandbox in December 2016.
“The Government will legislate an enhanced regulatory sandbox that allows more businesses to test a wider range of new financial products and services without a licence, including providing more holistic financial advice, issuing consumer credit, offering shortterm deposit or payment products, and operating a CSEF [Crowd-sourced equity funding] intermediary.”
In March 2017, the Government legislated a CSEF framework for public companies. To commence in late September, the framework will provide a new funding source for start-ups and innovative small businesses.
“The Government released draft legislation to extend crowd-sourced equity funding (CSEF) to proprietary companies with the 2017‑18 Budget. This will open up CSEF for a wider range of businesses and provide additional sources of capital”, it added.