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From crypto taxes to talent visas: How Australia is preparing to lead in the digital space
Thu, 27th Oct 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

In early 2022, Roy Morgan estimated that more than one million Australians now owned cryptocurrency - a figure in line with the ATO’s estimate from their recent treasury statement.

Taxes can be confusing, particularly when it comes to new asset classes like crypto, and many positive changes have occurred over the last few months.

Founded in 2018, Koinly launched into the Australian market earlier this year, growing from just a single employee to over 30 local team members in Sydney. With the high adoption of digital assets by Australian investors (approximately 5% of the adult population), Australia has proven to be a thriving market for Koinly, where consumers were crying out for local customer support and guidance on crypto taxes.

Australia’s workforce is also experiencing a significant transformation following the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2020-2021, Australia experienced a net migration loss of nearly 100,000 people, its first loss since 1946 and the second-lowest figure in history; and there is now a renewed focus on attracting the brightest and best global talent to work in ten future-focused sectors. 

In response, the Australian government launched the Global Talent Visa Program (GTVP), a streamlined visa pathway for highly skilled professionals to work and live permanently in Australia. Following a successful pilot, the program now has 15,000 places available per year, aiming to create jobs, transfer skills and promote innovation.

So why are programs like this so important, and how can they help to shape Australia’s adoption of future technologies and sectors?

Australia’s Global Talent Visa Program

With Australia experiencing a net migration loss over the last two years, future economic growth was stifled. With the current unemployment rate and inflation levels, it’s crucial to look to the future of high-growth industries with actionable policy now.

The GTVP is a great way to incentivise talent from around the world to call Australia their home and build businesses that can follow in the (successful) footsteps of Afterpay and Atlassian - tech firms that added immense value to the Australian economy.

In fact, it was this program that allowed me to go from submission to receiving my visa in approximately two weeks, with experience across multiple categories of the program, including:

  • Energy efficiency technology
  • Digital technology
  • Blockchain & distributed ledger technology
  • Financial technology (FinTech)
  • Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As a result, I’ve been privileged to launch Koinly into its first physical international office, creating 30 local jobs across Marketing, Sales, PR, Events, Customer Support and HR.

By supporting innovation in sectors Australia can excel in globally, the GTVP is directly leading to shifts in skill sets that will be much more flexible in an increasingly digital future.

The Australian government is reviewing changes to both short and long-term visas, with a focus on benefiting the economy and leading to future domestic employment and growth. This is crucial as we can look to international markets (such as the UK) to see how struggles with pension funds paying funds and currencies such as the British Pound and Japanese Yen struggle in foreign exchange markets.

Australia has previously subsidised dying sectors with public funds until they inevitably close. However, it is equally important to direct funds to new industries that can sustain future growth and allow Australia to reap benefits in the future.

In doing so, Australia can continue to grow by adding skilled workers who can, in turn, add more jobs within Australia in sectors such as the blockchain and digital asset space, leading to future tax revenue opportunities.

What role does Koinly play in Australia?

I’ve recently met investors around the country and guided Koinly through the sponsorship of Web3 events, including the Australian Crypto Convention on the Gold Coast in September and Equity Mate’s FinFest in Sydney in October.

After hundreds of conversations, it has become clear that many crypto investors are looking for clarity around what taxes they may owe on their crypto - which is what Koinly allows investors and traders to do. 

The ATO recently recommended using a “reputable Australian crypto tax calculator” for proper record-keeping. This announcement was timely, with the last day for individuals to lodge their tax returns Monday, October 31st, 2022.

In the past few months, other crypto-related announcements by the Australian government have included the Treasury Department’s token mapping exercise, the Board of Taxation seeking submissions on how to tax crypto assets in Australia, and updated tax treatment by the ATO on airdrops.

Koinly is a crypto tax calculator with over 700+ integrations across the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and blockchains. Koinly can help crypto investors and traders get their crypto taxes done quickly and also offers a platform for Australian accountants and tax professionals to help their clients.