The State Minister for Finance for the Indian government, Pankaj Chaudhary, has revealed that a total of 11 cryptocurrency exchanges were currently being investigated for tax evasion. According to the report from the Economic Times, a sum of ₹95.86 crores, nearly $12.58 million has been retrieved from all the charged crypto exchanges inclusive of fines which were included in the total payment.
While the government of India has always made its stance on the adoption of crypto very clear, stating that the digital asset class cannot be legalized as legal tender because it doesn’t have the characteristics of a fiat currency. The government, however, has scripted stringent laws to curtail the excesses of the cryptocurrency market.
The cryptocurrency market in India is currently charged under an indirect taxing system called Goods and Services Tax (GST) since it is yet to be recognized as a legal tender.
According to the report, the following crypto exchanges are the GST tax defaulters; Buy Ucoin, UnoCoin, CoinDCX, CoinSwitch Kuber, Flitpay, Giottus Technologies, Zanmai Labs (WazirX), Awlencan Innovations India Pvt Ltd (ZebPay), Discidium Internet Labs, Zeb IT Services Pvt Ltd, and Secure Bitcoin Traders Pvt Ltd.
Zanmai Labs (WazirX) tops the list with a total of ₹40.51 crores, approximately $5.326 million in evaded tax, with CoinSwitch Kuber following closely. Further in the report, Pankaj said while it is true that the government does not collate data of crypto exchanges, adding that the Indian government keeps a close watch on the activities of cryptocurrency in the nation, a resolve that often meets spite from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors.
The latter often has high hopes that laws and regulations that facilitate the free trade of virtual currencies will be enacted, but the opposite is usually the case.
Last week, CryptoMarketsBeat reported that a Finance Bill is to pass before an Indian Parliament. The bill provides that a total of 30% will be taxed on crypto-assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) as well as a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS). The bill has been approved and the law is expected to be in full effect from the 1st of April.