Can you use cryptocurrency to hide money from Centrelink?

Lynda wants to know what the rules are regarding owning cryptocurrency and the Age Pension.

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Q. Lynda
Do you have to declare cryptocurrencies to Centrelink? Does it affect the pension? Is it regarded as income or an asset? Since the amount that is earned or lost can alter dramatically over a few days, does this have to be evened out at the end of the year? How would Centrelink find out if you didn’t tell them?

A. Yes, you do have to declare any cryptocurrency that you own to Centrelink. Failure to do so could result in serious consequences.

Centrelink treats cryptocurrencies as an asset, and it can have an effect on your pension as a result.

If financial assets owned directly by you (such as bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies) change in value by more than $2000, you are obliged to inform Centrelink within 14 days.

If the value changes daily, Centrelink applies a bulk valuation twice a year – in March and September – when pension indexation is applied.

You can request a reassessment of your benefits at any time, but you may find yourself disadvantaged, as Centrelink will automatically update the latest market values of your investment.

If you receive cryptocurrency as a payment for a service or similar, then it may be treated as income for assessment purposes and you really should check with a Centrelink Financial Services Officer for further clarification in that situation.

Do you have question regarding the Age Pension or other Centrelink benefits?

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Written by Ben

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