Australia: Guidance regarding tax treatment of cryptoassets

Information to help taxpayers understand their tax obligations with regard to cryptoassets

Information to help taxpayers understand their tax obligations with regard to cryptoassets

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on 13 July 2022 published guidance with information to help taxpayers understand their tax obligations with regard to cryptoassets.

According to the ATO guidance, cryptoassets are considered to be an asset for capital gains tax purposes, and must be reported when disposed of by means of:

  • Trading, selling or gifting crypto
  • Exchanging one cryptoasset for another
  • Converting crypto to a fiat currency, for example to Australian dollar
  • Using crypto to obtain goods or services

The ATO guidance advises all holders of cryptoassets that they need to keep records of their cryptoasset transactions (such as disposing of a cryptoasset resulting in a capital loss or a capital gain that must be included in their tax returns). A capital loss can only be made when a cryptoasset is disposed of and must be reported in the year it occurred. Paper losses on cryptoassets cannot be claimed as a capital loss. Further, cryptoasset capital losses cannot be offset against other income, such as salary or wages, but can be used to offset against capital gains from the current, or future, financial years. 

Other income derived from cryptoassets, such as airdrops or staking rewards, also need to be included in tax returns as “other income.”

If taxpayers hold onto a cryptoasset for 12 months or more, they may be eligible for a 50% capital gains tax discount.


The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 3712, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.