Tom Tate, the Mayor of Gold Coast metropolitan, has suggested that Australians could pay their council rates, otherwise known as local property taxes, in cryptocurrency.
“Why can’t we pay rates on cryptocurrency if the risk is not high?” he said.
He also noted that the council will recruit a chief investment officer tasked with promoting “innovation,” and looking into “joint ventures” involving the council’s land.
Australia Cryptocurrency Tax Payments and Global Perception
According to a local news report, Mayor Tate sees crypto payments as a way to communicate Australia’s innovative virtue, effectively attracting young people. As for cryptocurrency’s inherent volatility, Tate says it’s “not that bad.”
Moreover, paying taxes in crypto has become a trending topic among pro-crypto politicians in various jurisdictions.
Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta of Buenos Aires, Argentina, suggested the same approach in late April. In late March, Rio de Janeiro announced a similar plan, aiming to become the first Brazilian city to accept Bitcoin payments for taxes.
In the US, the state of Colorado plans to take crypto for tax payments starting summer this year. Florida is considering a similar scheme, while the transcontinental country of Panama already approved it in April.
However, in light of the recent crypto crash, volatility, and the industry’s rampant scams, financial experts advise approaching such a matter with caution.
Blockchain Australia chairman, Adam Poulton, thinks payments could either halve or multiply depending on prevailing market conditions.
While Poulton is not completely against crypto payments, he advises the Australian government to consider a 95:5 payment ratio, where the latter is in cryptocurrency.
Another expert, Associate Professor Vallipuram Muthukkumarasamy of Griffith University, said that while the council was open to such developments, crypto remains “speculative.” He urged further research and education in the “new technology,” saying crypto tax payments require “confidence building.”
Crypto Uptake in Australia
Like many other countries, Australia has taken a ‘measured’ approach in matters regarding cryptocurrencies. Recently, the nation’s largest bank, Commonwealth, reportedly suspended its crypto trading pilot program after the crypto crash triggered by Terra’s downfall. And even though Australian regulators finally approved the country’s first Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs, the launch was delayed and its reception half-hearted.
This year, Australia intends on developing a crypto taxation policy while its new Prime Minister looks into crypto regulation.
Meanwhile, various businesses in the country have begun taking crypto payments. Additionally, several influential figures in the country have also communicated a pro-crypto stance. Some of the notable ones include the country’s Finance Services Minister, Jane Hume, and the former Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg.