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ATO preparing to release Bitcoin laws

Documents obtained by the ABC show that the Australian Tax Office is about to release rules on how bitcoin transactions will be taxed.


The ABC is reporting that the Australian Tax Office will shortly release a new set of taxation laws that relate to the crypto-currency Bitcoin.

The ABC's AM program obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

Bitcoin and other related digital currencies have proven problematic for many governments, especially in regards to taxation law.

While some countries have tried to embrace the crypto-currency -- with Bitcoin ATMs popping up in China, the US, and even Australia -- others have been more cautious. Japan, for example, recently declared that bitcoin was and has forbidden banks from supplying it to customers.

The report from the ABC suggests that the ATO has been compiling information regarding Bitcon for some time now. The Tax Office was apparently initially "sceptical" about internet currencies until it saw the potential for people to use them for tax avoidance.

The new rules are expected to be release by the end of the financial year. The ABC's FOI request revealed that the ATO is not the only Government organisation looking into bitcoin -- the Reserve Bank has produced a number of "in-depth reports" on the fiscal phenomenon.