CRYPTO TRANSACTIONS UNDER TAXMAN’S LENS

A large number of investors indulging in crypto currency transactions had not been declaring such income and the income tax department has collected enough data on such entities, Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman JB Mohapatra said.

“In many of the cases tax returns were not field although they invest and they trade. In many cases the returns were field, but the crypto surplus were not declared. In some cases, where surplus was shown, there were not major differences in accounting,” Mohapatra told ET.

He added that the department had been keeping tab on cryptocurrency transactions since 2017.

“We had undertaken certain non-mild intrusive service into the 2017-18, 19-20 and 21 and there are special pilot projects being run on this theme. So we got good data,” Mohapatra said, adding that this had given good inputs to the CBDT on how to proceed with it in future.

He made it clear that while the proposed taxation regime is sought to be implemented from April 1, it did not mean that there was no tax applicable for transactions before April 1.

“The fact that this is getting taxed on April 1, 2022 under the new regime at 30% does not mean that the transactions which have been incurred earlier are not to be taxed,” he said.

Mohapatra said there was no clarity yet about under what head the department was going to tax transactions before April 1.

“There is no statutory guidance or any section of the act or any direction from the CBDT as under what head it will be taxed, whether it will be income from business or income from other sources or capital gains or anything,” he said, adding that it will be on a case to case basis depending on the nature of transactions.

However, he said, if a need so arises, the government may intervene and issue directions on the matter.

Asked about the budget skipping any relief for the middle class, he said that 91% of the taxpayers were below the Rs10 lakh bracket and further exemption would have pushed a large number of people out of the tax net.

“If you increase the tax the probably half the assesses will be out of the tax net. This is a year in which we are coming out of a deep economic slowdown and this is a year in which we wanted to consolidate. Therefore, there was a need to sustain the economy through revenues,” Mohapatra argued.

He said the budget had rolled out many reforms such as a two-year window to correct filling, which will be a big relief for the taxpayers and the department.

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