Today the Turnbull Government introduced legislation to deliver on the 2017-18 Budget promise to remove the double taxation of digital currency, action that will further cement Australia’s reputation as a global FinTech centre.
The Bill will ensure that Australians are no longer charged GST on purchases of digital currency, allowing it to be treated the same way as physical money for GST purposes. The law change will retrospectively apply from 1 July 2017, in line with the 2017 Budget announcement.
Currently, consumers who use digital currency 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 Bill will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia, as the Government takes action to boost jobs and wages.
We have worked closely with the FinTech industry to develop the reform, which was unanimously approved by the States and Territories.
The Turnbull Government has provided strong support for the FinTech industry – allowing tax concessions to encourage investments in early-stage start-ups, legislating a crowd-sourced equity funding regime, announcing measures to encourage new challenger banks as well as creating a regulatory sandbox which encourages businesses to test innovative financial services without facing the costs of regulatory licensing.
This week’s Global Financial Centres Index saw both Sydney and Melbourne featuring within the top tier of FinTech and financial services destinations, off the back of strong support from the Turnbull Government.
The Turnbull Government won’t rest on our laurels. We will continue to work with the Australian FinTech industry to help create an environment where it can be both internationally competitive and play a central role in the positive transformation of our economy.