India identifies 700 cryptocurrency investors for not paying taxes

The income tax department of India has reportedly targeted around 700 crypto investors who have failed to pay taxes on high-value crypto transactions. According to an official with the nation’s Central Board of Direct Taxation, they have a long list of people who were dealing in crypto assets but weren’t paying tax. The list includes non-resident Indians, high-net-worth individuals, students, housewives, and startups. The department is also monitoring whether their names had been used to dodge the tax net.

The income tax department is reportedly cracking down on non-payment of taxes from crypto gains, the department is analyzing the high-value crypto transactions of about 700 investors and the authority is recommending issuing notices to them.

As per income tax officials, most of these individuals have either overlooked declaring crypto profits on their tax returns or haven’t filed tax returns at all. They could face a 30% penalty, tax, and interest.

As per tax officials, some people have profits exceeding Rs. 40 lakh but have either declared zero income on their returns or not filed tax returns. Moreover, taxpayers have been considering crypto transactions differently on their tax returns – some declaring income as business income while others as capital profits.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister of India suggested in her budget speech the previous month a 30% tax on capital profits from cryptos for the next fiscal year. The budget also stated that a flat tax would apply irrespective of how long an individual has held the crypto assets.

Tax authorities signaled that in addition to following the tax requirements set up in the budget, the department may pursue penalties of up to 50% over and above the tax.

JB Mohapatra, CBDT chairman had said the previous month that many investors in cryptocurrency hadn’t been declaring income, and the IT department has gathered sufficient info about them. He had maintained that the department will start taking action after March 31.

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