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Bitcoin Considered a ‘Traditional Currency’ by Australian Senate Committee

The inquiry of the Australian Senate committee may overrule the decision of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which classified bitcoin as an intangible/foreign asset that falls under the coverage of Goods and Services Tax.

The proposal submitted by the Australian government will have bitcoin considered as a traditional currency, and thus will nullify many of the regulations or legal “restrictions” set to be applied on bitcoin.

“The opportunities for trade, investment, high salaries and world-leading skills are far more important [than any potential loss of revenue], and I urge the states to work with the Commonwealth to make what amounts to simple change,” Labor Senator Sam Dastyari told the Australian Financial Review.

Dastyari said that such leniency on the currency will help many bitcoin- or other digital currency-based entrepreneurs and startups in the nation to continue their operations without any interruptions or restrictions.

“Without a doubt, the main benefit will be the confidence and certainty that removing a GST will provide to our own digital entrepreneurs, and the foreign businesses who want to set up here,” Dastyari added. “The Treasury ministers need to work with the states to make the changes necessary to bring our legislation into the 21st century.”

The proposal of the Australian Senate Committee will be taken up for vote this week, and will conclude the tax-free status of bitcoin in Australia once and for all.

The ruling from the Senate Economics References Committee into digital currency, predicted to be considered this week as well, will bring Australia in line with the United Kingdom in terms of its treatment on bitcoin.

Joseph Young

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