Changes coming for cryptocurrency and digital assets

Cryptocurrency and digital assets are regarded by many as the next big thing. No wonder then that participation in the crypto/digital assets market jumped by a staggering 63% from the 2020 to the 2021 financial year. This is partly due to ease of access which has been facilitated by multiple asset exchanges making their platforms readily available in Australia. With this increase in participation also comes increasing scrutiny from the government, with the release of terms of reference for various reviews into regulation and taxation of digital assets.

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Super pension drawdown reduction extended

As a part of the Budget, the government has extended the temporary 50% reduction in minimum annual payment amounts for super pensions and annuities to 30 June 2023. The measure was originally introduced for the 2019-20 year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which negatively impacted the super account balances of many retirees. According to the government, given ongoing volatility, the extension will ensure that retirees will not be forced to sell assets in order to satisfy the minimum drawdown requirements.

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Div 7A and financial accommodation

A new draft ruling has been released on when “financial accommodation” applies and thus a Div 7A loan occurs in private group arrangements involving unpaid present entitlements and use of sub-trusts. Importantly, the views contained in the draft ruling differ from the ATO’s previous substantive ruling on the issue. Once finalised, this new ATO view will apply from 1 July 2022. The previous ruling, along with an associated practice statement will be withdrawn but will still apply to trust entitlements arising before 1 July 2022.

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