GST and BITCOIN – Potential Pitfalls

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Bitcoin has received a lot of recent press attention, both as a speculative investment and as an alternative payment option to fiat currency. The anonymous nature of Bitcoin payments has also caught the attention of tax authorities and other regulators, both in Australia and overseas.

One issue that has received little attention is the GST treatment of Bitcoin transactions that occur within Australia. As discussed below, Bitcoins may not qualify as "money" for GST purposes. As a result, some Bitcoin payments or trades conducted within Australia could attract GST (which is not generally the case for transactions involving fiat currency).

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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