Australian Tax Office Makes Ruling on the treatment of Bitcoin and other Crypto Currencies

The Australian Tax Office has now completed its review regarding the treatment of Bitcoin and other cyrpto currencies. Information can be found here. As this page changes somewhat frequently we have preserved the relevant content below (copied 22-July-2014) for retention’s sake:

Status Consultation completed
Purpose To seek input from a business community perspective about the impacts of differing taxation treatments of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies on the Australian business community.
Description Industry representatives from professional and Bitcoin associations, and leading businesses involved in the emerging Bitcoin community, met on 29 April 2014. Attendees provided valuable information about their business models and how different tax treatments would impact their clients, members and businesses.
Who we consulted Industry representatives from profession and Bitcoin associations.
Outcomes The group provided valuable feedback on ATO propositions that have been part of our deliberations for an Australian position on this tax treatment. We have sought further advice from external legal counsel, which has delayed the release of the guidance paper. It remains our priority to provide the community with the final guidance paper in time for people to complete their 2013–14 income tax returns. The key information that a taxpayer will need about each transaction or event with Bitcoin is the date, the amount in $A, what it was for, and who the other party was (their Bitcoin address, at a minimum).
Contact Michael HardySenior Assistant Commissionerbitcoin@ato.gov.au

Detailed guidance is not yet available leaving it unclear if consumers using crypto currencies will need to record and report each individual transaction to the Australian tax office, or, instead only report transactions that are made to purchase tax-deductible items (as is currently the case with fiat transactions). We have e-mailed Michael Hardy seeking further clarification and will post more detailed information as it comes to light.

Update 25-July-2014:

I’ve heard back from an assistant of Michael Hardy but unfortunately the response is very non-committal and has very little more to offer:

From: Bitcoin@ato.gov.au
To: michael@coinmanual.com
CC: Bitcoin@ato.gov.au
Subject: RE: Bitcoin and the recording of transactions [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 02:08:08 +0000

Hello Michael

The ATO will have a guidance paper issued in time for people to complete their 2013-14 income tax returns.

When this occurs, you will be able to find the paper on the ATO website https://www.ato.gov.au/

We recommend that you keep detailed records of the date and amount of the transaction, as well as the payee and the reason for the transaction.

Regards

Judy

Dell Accepts Bitcoin. Now What?

Dell is now one among a growing number of major retailers that are accepting Bitcoin for consumer sales. Powered by Coinbase, the computer company’s main e-commerce site, Dell.com, joins Overstock, Expedia, TigerDirect and others as a way to spend your cryptocurrency on electronics and more.

Unlike Overstock and Expedia though, Dell is a behemoth in terms of sales and size. As the tenth largest retailer on the internet, Dell.com racks in about $3.6 billion last year according to data compiled by Statista. But what does this mean for Bitcoin? Is Dell going to cause a domino effect for other top 10 retailers, or is it just an outlier trying to cash in on the Bitcoin hype?

Why Dell Matters (and Doesn’t)

It’s always good news for Bitcoin when another retailer joins the fray. It’s also very good news for Bitcoin that a retailer in the top 10 is on board. But Bitcoin still has a long road ahead to prove itself as a viable currency in a number of ways.

For starters, Dell.com is by no means the bread and butter of the company, which earned $57 billion last year. For those keeping score at home, that’s just six percent of Dell’s total revenue. Dell’s money is in making electronics, not selling it, so while the company is famous and known for its direct-to-consumer way of selling, Dell.com is still a minor (albeit significant) part of the overall bottom line.

Second, Dell.com is still in the electronics niche, and the entire point Dell adopted Bitcoin is to attract an audience, not create one. You can tell by the Alienware promotion Dell is running alongside the introduction of Bitcoin, offering 10 percent off all Alienware products under $1500. It’s clear Dell is looking to take advantage of people willing to make big purchases using the valuable cryptocurrency, which often happen to be the gamers who owned the graphics cards once needed for effective Bitcoin mining. To add to this niche, while Dell is allowing sales across the entire site in Bitcoin, it’s unlikely many sales will come from its business division, which make up a huge chunk of Dell.com’s overall revenue.

These realities are not necessarily bad. Dell is still the biggest retailer, manufacturer and company to accept Bitcoin. They help show how, despite this win, Bitcoin is still very one-dimensional, and that the currency needs a way to branch outward in a different kind of direction to prove successful in the coming months.

Building a Currency, not a payment method.

So far, Bitcoin with the big players is nothing more than a payment method. Bitcoins come in, are instantly turned into fiat currency, and that’s it. Bitcoin sits on the payment portal alongside PayPal and all the other major payment gateways.

This is fine as long as you want Bitcoin to remain as a payment gateway and nothing more. If you see Bitcoin as a currency however, then you want to see more than just this one-dimensional activity. The easiest measurement of this is seeing multiple dimensions of business being conducted exclusively in Bitcoin. For example, is Dell accepting Bitcoin for computer invoices by Newegg and TigerDirect?

Probably not. Not yet, at least. Bitcoin remains in a very experimental, fluctuating state. The more stable it becomes however, the more payments we will see across the verticals of a business, rather than at the “last mile” between retailers and end-users. This will also in turn lead to the storage of assets in Bitcoin, which is another must-have in order to grant Bitcoin currency status.

Another issue Bitcoin still has is the lack of financial versatility that other payment gateways have in comparison. Bitcoin is like paying in cash, but whenever your customer pays it’s as if they pay with a courier, instead of paying in person. You have no way to verify the customer is the courier, and have no way to ensure they are paying with their own money, or that if the customer wants a refund you’re giving it to them, as opposed to someone else.

On one hand, many praise the confidentiality of Bitcoin. These same people forget that currency is about trust and identify verification. If you can verify a wallet always belongs to someone, then you can confidently refund that individual and confidently associate those funds with a customer. Doing business is about the fluidity the currency you use, and this is one realm Bitcoin has yet to offer any viable solution.

Ultimately Dell is of course a welcome addition for those who want to see more mainstream attention to Bitcoin beyond the “fad” status some financial experts give it. That said, Bitcoin is still in need of much incubation in order to get the viability it needs to deserve currency status.

Five Problems Information Management Solves

What are the problems that enterprise information management (EIM) can help solve?

The main benefit of enterprise information management is the creation of a systematic and responsive management of data organization with heightened power for the creation of information, expression, delivery, and utilization for various organizations. EIM can supply and maintain information of an enterprise business in a way that is protected, easily accessed, significant, precise and convenient.

EIM can also supply advantages in the following aspects:

Management of Information

Improved success of data utilized for business planning and execution via:

  • A unified, cross-program perspective of subject areas or data domains for the enterprise.
  • A complete view of the life-cycle of enterprise data that backs up strategies for business and a more intensive understanding of these areas of expertise and their dealings.
  • Recorded enterprise information that heightens the understanding of the data currently accessible for decisions influenced by data, along with its position and visibility.

Quick Organizational Adjustments

The adaptability and capacity required to meet the demands of an active market via:

  • An enterprise data model that creates the structure of every data initiative implemented and allows for growth based on requirements in the near future.
  • A reachable technical structure for the enterprise that has been created to increase and conform to constantly changing conditions.
  • Sustenance for unstructured data, prompting more complete knowledge for the management of the organization and its clients.
  • Recyclable elements that can be strengthened to decrease the amount of time to promote and advertise for new functionality.

Quality of Data

Improved precision and stability of information circulated among consumers both inside and outside of the organization through the following:

  • Secured sources of data that terminate views of data using specific programs and data excess, including the disorder of data location.
  • Stable rules for connecting and collection of data for business.
  • Publicized schedule for data refreshment derived from an understanding of the needs of users.
  • Coherent directions for assurance of quality, reliability and freehold of data receipt processes and distribution.
  • Recognized authority for and freehold of data so as to support stable data definitions throughout the enterprise.

Security Safeguard

The protection against abuse of organizational data via:

  • Systematized policies for the control and declaration of information that adheres with requirements for regulation and privacy.
  • A secured infrastructure created to confirm the single recognizable information is contained within a protected area.
  • Audit follows and limits that verify a uniform depiction to date users of information.
  • Strategies for disaster recovery to avoid the loss of critical enterprise assets.
  • An architectural plan for data that verifies the adequate performance of delivery mechanisms of information.

Improved Processes

Improved efficiency of operations via:

  • A stabilized architecture for data that has been optimized for the distribution of enterprise information, lowering the amount of time that users have to use while trying to acquire data and eradicating the usage of systems that were never devised for the delivery of information.
  • Tools that can easily be used to lower the reliance on technical stuff to access data and eradicate the duplication of resources for personnel working in the organization.
  • The execution of policies that are technologically advanced for referencing and merging data from business applications, which can be used to terminate countless repetitive efforts that are currently in motion.
  • A technical architecture that understands and supports enterprise dependencies, reducing the time-consuming activities involved in planning, operating and maintaining complex applications.

Organizations can effectuate various advantages by accommodating an initiative for enterprise information management. Developments in the quality of data, information management, process efficiency, security, and organizational agility are only some areas that can reap the benefits of EIM.

This isn’t a sign that all functioning areas of the components of an EIM framework should automatically get adopted in order to get the benefits. Organizations can start acquiring some of them by creating a strategy for EIM and a plan on focusing on aspects that can give a direct impact on business that are technically feasible.

The Benefits of Effective Information Management

Effective information management

The quality, consistency and accuracy of your data can be leveraged to make correct business decisions. IM sets the framework by which data is used because it: The quality, consistency and accuracy of your data can be improved to make appropriate business decisions. IM prepares the framework by which data is used because it:

  • Attends to the quality, uniformity and replication of information.
  • Supplies a secured view of data from numerous systems.
  • Restores data according to business needs.
  • Elucidates clear standards around how data is received and managed.
  • Constructs standards around data ownership.
  • Addresses observance and IP retention by systematizing standards for information manipulation and delivery.

Information Management intensifies process organization and output

The effect of technology has been many contrasting information management systems. Today’s requirement is for information to be stabilized and shared. An Information Management strategy:

  • Merges information application systems and synchronizes the way they work together.
  • Supplies a stable information framework that allocates easy data retrieval by various user groups.
  • Determines a framework for upgrading or swapping older systems across a simple data model.
  • Allows in-depth business intelligence that yields precise, comprehensive business reports.
  • Provides power to business people with the appropriate tools to access and disperse information.

Information Management enhances decision-making

  • Information can be counted upon because it is constant and precise.
  • Information can be sourced from many systems to provide an enhanced basis for making selections.
  • A complete life cycle view of data is affiliated with business strategies.

The Significance of Information Management

Information Management (IM) prompts enhanced organization, stricter compliance requirements and dispatches new resources. IM is the fundamental technology that gathers, controls, keeps, circulates and utilizes information resources.

Today, data forms catch as much information as possible. This data can be organized through pre-determined data models or disorganized, content-heavy information. Legacy data, created from years of solutions that focus on applications is instrumental to data complications. Data is the currency of corporate worth as organizations prioritizes the usage of information as focal point.

IM allows you to bring organized and disorganized data together and introduce it as precious information in an accessible format. It is a synthesis of people, processes, technology and content.

The purpose of IM is to control data systematically and to create information that is protected, easily available, significant, and precise and enduring that holds up data-driven decision making.

Understanding Information Management

As defined on Wikipedia, Information management or IM is the

…collection and management of information from one or more sources and the distribution of that information to one or more audiences. This sometimes involves those who have a stake in, or a right to that information. Management means the organization of and control over the planning, structure and organization, controlling, processing, evaluating and reporting of information activities in order to meet client objectives and to enable corporate functions in the delivery of information…

Codingo agrees with the definition from the website. Information, as we all know, includes both electronic and physical information. The organizational structure must have the capability to manage the information throughout the life cycle of information, without any regards to the source or format (data, paper documents, electronic documents, audio, social business, video, etc.) for delivery via a multitude of channels that may include cellphones and web interfaces. With these criteria, we can then say that IM focuses on the ability of organizations to capture, manage, preserve, store and deliver the correct information to the correct people at the correct time.

Information management environments are made up of legacy information resident in line of business applications, Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Electronic Records Management (ERM), Business Process Management (BPM), Taxonomy and Metadata, Knowledge Management (KM), Web Content Management (WCM), Document Management (DM) and Social Media Governance technology solutions and best practices. Information management demand for the adoption and accordance with guiding principles that include:

  • Information assets are corporate assets. This concept should be recognized or agreed upon across the organization and if not, any business case and support for IM will be fragile.
  • Information should be made available and shared. In principle, the sharing of information aids in the usage and utilization of corporate knowledge, despite that not all information is open to the masses.
  • Information that needs to be kept by the organization is corporately managed and preserved. In other words, the maintenance and cataloging of information. If you save a document at present time, you can expect it to be secured and still be available to you tomorrow and in the coming days.

Information management is a corporate responsibility that needs to be directed and followed by everyone; from the most senior positions of management up to the worker working in front. Organizations and their employees are accountable for the capturing, managing, storing, sharing, preserving and delivering of information in an appropriate and responsible manner. Part of their responsibility is dependent on the training of the organization to familiarize themselves with the policies, processes, technologies and best practices in information management.