Why don't you use the ATO specified foreign exchange rates? (as we have to use them for tax)

Hello my name is David Gust and I have subscribed to Sharesight. I own some foreign shares and am in the process of doing my tax return. My question is why do you not use the FX rates published by the ATO? (as these are the rates required for calculating your returns for tax purposes).
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    Hi David,

    We source our FX rates from European central bank.

    It is not required to use the ATO published rates if we can source the spot rates; and we also have some technical concerns with using ATO rates. To name a few:

    the ATO rates doesn't cover Australian weekends and public holidays;
    they are only published monthly at month end, which means that currency gain/loss will be delayed;
    there's no API available to automate the import of data.

    Hope that clarifies!
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    I agree that it is a bit tricky sourcing this info from the ATO but they do publish the required info in the next following month.

    I presume most of your other clients are Australian and would need to use the ATO exchange rates to calculate any foreign gains/losses they have and as such it would be great if their was an option to select these rates, rather than having to manually go through every share I own and update them..
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  • My reading of the ATO guidance is that it is not necessary to use their exchange rates. The rates from Sharesight should be fine as they are the spot rate on the day of the transaction and from a reputable source. I believe the ATO would accept these rates.

    From the ATO:

    Alternatively, you can use appropriate exchange rates provided by a banking institution operating in Australia including, where relevant, the banking institution through which your foreign income is received. You can also use rates published by another reliable external source. The rate used and the source of rates should be kept with your records.

    more info here

    https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Forex...

    Where your receive a foreign dividend or other income that is translated into AUD by the bank or registry then you should uses this rate, which again will be accepted by the ATO. This will not necessarily match the ATO rate.
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  • Hi,

    I understand that you use the ECB FX rates and why. Unfortunately this overstates my dividend income (in USD) by a considerable amount compared to the ATO rate. I picked a few days at random and calculated the variance. The following are AUD - USD rates:

    27/6/14 sharesight 0.9409 ATO 0.9744 Variance 3.6%
    11/9/13 sharesight 0.9288 ATO 0.9621 Variance 3.6%
    25/9/15 sharesight 0.6962 ATO 0.7329 Variance 5.3%

    As you can see the variance is considerable and to my disadvantage, tax-wise. I know that I can go back through and adjust the rates. Is there an easier way to do this besides changing the 'banked amount' field? Can I change the FX rate directly?

    I have direct share investments in the US, which means the actual banked amounts are in USD. As I understand it now I will have to calculate an AUD 'banked amount' using, for example, the ATO FX rate, and put that (made-up) banked amount in such that the FX rate comes out correctly. Which seems very cumbersome. Is there an easier way of doing this?

    Thanks!
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