Deloitte has announced its partnership with the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA) to “work on the strategic, tax and regulatory changes that will need to happen” in Australia.
The world’s fourth-largest accountancy firm will form a working group with ADCCA members, tasked, iTnews reports via Silicon Angle. The focus of the group is due to comprise “creating accounting practices” for businesses dealing with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Speaking about the news, Deloitte Australia partner Jonathan Perkinson underlined the firm’s long standing interest in the Australian digital payments space.
“Deloitte has had an interest in digital currencies for quite some time, so this was a great opportunity to get involved. Digital currencies have a lot of momentum at the moment,” he said. “With ADCCA, we’ll be working on the strategic, tax and regulatory changes that will need to happen, and we’ll be recommending and challenging specific changes in those arenas.”
Perkinson made specific reference to the situation regarding taxation of cryptocurrency transactions, which have made it compulsory for entities registered for Australia’s general sales tax (GST) to pay a 10% fee on any trading in bitcoin. Regulatory reshuffles have so far not altered governmental perspective on the practice, which Perkinson hinted at as a barrier to Bitcoin’s future success in the country. He emphasized:
“The challenge is to get cryptocurrencies taxed in an appropriate way.”
Perkinson’s words echoed those of fellow Deloitte Partner Ivan Zasarsky at the Global Digital Currency Convention in Brisbane last November. In a presentation on the feasibility of blockchain and Bitcoin technology for use within Australian finance, Zasarsky urged regulators to “go slow.” Citing the example of US legislator practice regarding prepaid debit cards, “just making a kneejerk reaction could cause more harm than good,” in the case of digital currency in Australia.
“It’s very difficult to put together a regime of laws,” he added. “They’re complex, and any change that takes away can also cause other ramifications and loopholes or openings accordingly.”
Deloitte has been making noises internationally on the issue of blockchain technology in its own business practices. In an interview with CoinDesk earlier this month, Deloitte Consulting principal Eric Piscini said that as a company, Deloitte “needs to understand more about the blockchain and the underlying technology.”
“We believe it can really change the way our clients operate and how we operate,” he added.
The Australian inititiate in the meantime is still very much in its infancy, Deloitte Australia Director Taralyn Elliot said.
“We haven’t started working on developing accounting standards yet. They’re in a fledgling state at the moment. But as crypto currencies get more global attention, we will soon need global accounting standards,” she told iTnews.