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Is cryptocurrency legal in India?

Is cryptocurrency legal in India? the legality of cryptocurrencies has been a hotly debated topic. The Government of India has taken a number of actions that clearly demonstrate its intention to give cryptocurrencies a recognized legal status.

The RBI issued a circular prohibiting banks, NBFCs, and providers of payment systems from dealing with virtual currencies and offering their services to virtual currency exchanges as the first step in the process. A writ petition from cryptocurrency exchange platforms was submitted in response to the Supreme Court. In the case of India’s Internet and Mobile Association v. Reserve Bank of India, the Supreme Court ruled that the RBI circular was unconstitutional and overturned the ban.

Is cryptocurrency legal in India? According to the most recent amendment to Schedule III of the Companies Act of 2013, which was published on March 24th, 2021, starting with the next financial year all businesses must disclose their cryptocurrency investments as well as any profit or loss associated with the transaction. The owner of any virtual currencies must also disclose the number of their holdings as well as the specifics of any deposits or advances they have received for the purpose of trading or investing in cryptocurrencies.

In the Union Budget 2022, the Indian finance minister stated that a 30% tax rate would apply to any income derived from the transfer of virtual digital assets. Additionally, a 1% tax deduction at source has been proposed for cryptocurrency transactions. The minister also clarified that simply because a virtual digital asset is taxed does not mean that it has gained legal status.

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Now let’s look at the legal framework governing what can be taxed in India. Income earned legally or unlawfully is not differentiated under the Income Tax Act. The Income Tax department is able to collect tax on all incomes as a result. However, when the government is aware that money was earned through illegal means, it has a legal duty to punish the offenders in accordance with various punitive laws, such as the Indian Penal Code and the Benami Transactions Act, among others.

Is cryptocurrency legal in India? It is safe to assume that the government is implicitly acknowledging that income earned from cryptocurrencies is legal income from a legal source because no criminal investigations have been opened against any cryptocurrency investors, traders, or service providers. If the government were to take a different stance and decide to prosecute individuals who deal in cryptocurrencies, it would undoubtedly create a political Pandora’s box for the government.

On April 28, 2022, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issued Directions under section 70B’s subsection (6) relating to information security practices, procedures, prevention, response, and  Cybercrime reporting for the Safe & Trusted Internet (Cyber Security Directions of 28.04.2022).

Custodian wallet providers, virtual asset service providers, and virtual asset exchange providers must maintain all customer information on file, per Cyber Security Directions of April 28, 2022. (KYC). It must also keep financial transaction records for a minimum of five (5) years in order to protect citizens’ data, fundamental rights, and economic freedom while ensuring cyber security in the area of payments and financial markets. Companies in the cryptocurrency industry will need to continue to exist for at least another five years if data must be kept for five years. This in turn reveals the government’s policy of allowing cryptocurrencies and the companies that provide services for them to exit. 

Unmistakable evidence that the Indian government may have approved cryptocurrencies and their dealing and trading on a de facto basis is provided by these government actions (and inactions).

This article’s content is meant to serve as a general introduction to the topic. You should seek specialized advice regarding your unique circumstances.

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Whether bitcoin is legal in India or not is up for debate, but the Supreme Court asked the government to be very clear about its position. To control cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in India, the national government is drafting a bill. In the Union Budget 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the federal government would impose a steep tax of 30% on virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies and Nonfungible Tokens, or NFTs. In order to implement this crypto tax, Budget 2022 proposed adding a new section 115BBH that would tax cryptocurrencies and other virtual assets as income.

Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, claims that taxing cryptocurrencies does not make them the country’s legal tender. The country has the authority to levy taxes on cryptocurrency exchanges. The finance minister stated that an official position on regulation won’t be taken until the ongoing consultations are over.

Crypto Tax: What it Means

The proposed section 115BBH seeks to provide that the amount of income tax payable shall be the sum of the amount of income tax calculated on income from the transfer of any virtual digital asset at a rate of 30% and the amount of income tax with which the assessee would have been charged had the assessee’s total income been reduced by the aggregate of the following:

The recently proposed cryptocurrency tax will go into effect for Assessment Year 2023-2024. In the upcoming fiscal year (2022–2023), all of your cryptocurrency-related income will be subject to a 30% tax rate. Investors are required to pay taxes for FY 2021–2022, in accordance with the law.

What are Virtual Digital Assets?

According to Micky Irons, chief marketing officer of DSpace Protocol, virtual digital assets include cryptocurrencies, Defi (decentralized finance), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This appears to be specifically targeted at taxing cryptocurrencies since it does not include digital gold, central bank digital currency (CBDC), or any other traditional digital assets.

crypto banning in India
Picture by cryptoglobel.com

Crypto Legality in India: What Experts Say

Is cryptocurrency legal in India? Investors view the central government’s immediate announcement of a 30% tax on all cryptocurrency transfers as the first step in the right direction toward the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the nation. Since the Budget announcement made it clear that there would be no ban on cryptocurrencies, more investors may be drawn to the market rather than fewer, according to Micky Irons.

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However, more information about the taxation procedure for someone trading cryptocurrencies as stocks in a trade or exchange needs to become available, perhaps through circulars. However, more clarity regarding the method of taxation for one trading in cryptocurrency as stock in trade or exchange needs to emerge, perhaps through circulars. Additionally, the cost of acquisition must be made clear because it may include platform commissions, gas surcharges, and other expenses, he continued.



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