Cryptocurrency Tax Advisor
Cryptocurrency Tax Advisor

Cryptocurrency Tax Advisor (29)

Crypto investors and traders have been plagued by regulatory uncertainty in India. As the Indian Government authorities continue to struggle in fundamentally differentiating. Bitcoin from Blockchain, the subcontinent's economy is positioned to lose out on, what is possibly, the century's biggest revolution. Having added to the fear, uncertainty and doubt, is the ring-fencing notification issued by the RBI, restricting banking access to Indian crypto exchanges. Despite the speed-bump, believers of the Blockchain technology remain undeterred, thanks to which trading volumes have picked up on the Indian exchanges. Although there isn’t any clarity in tax legislation, the Indian Revenue Authorities are breathing down the necks of crypto traders. It is, therefore, imperative to accurately compute and report any income from cryptocurrencies. Consult a top-notch Cryptocurrency CA to get clarity on myriad of accounting and tax issues arising from Cryptocurrency Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up.  The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that we are not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. CA Mitesh and Associates is Mumbai's leading Cryptocurrency Taxation Firm which is committed to helping people navigate complex tax laws and banking regulations. Our main aim is to assist the individuals with applicable laws & regulations compliance and providing support at each & every level to make sure that they stay compliant and grow continuously. For any query, help or feedback you may get in touch here - Appointment with CA

Our Services

Income Tax returns

An income tax return is a form where taxpayers declare their taxable income, deductions, and tax payments. This procedure of filing income tax returns is referred to as income tax filing. While filing the return, the total amount that should go to the government as income tax is calculated. If you've paid more tax than needed for the financial year, you'll be refunded by the income tax department. Sometimes, you may also see that you have underpaid taxes for the year. In such cases, you must pay the remainder of the tax, and file your income tax returns. Income tax return form ranges from ITR 1 to ITR 7, used for different types of income. Some income tax return forms are longer than the others, and they may need additional disclosures such balance sheet and a profit and loss statement information. PRICE quoted above is the Starting Price ONLY. Please call us for complete details.

Crypto Tax Advisory

  • Maintaining and updating crypto holdings/portfolio
  • Advice on possible tax efficiencies
  • Maintaining robust documentation
  • Computation of tax liabilities and
  • Compliance

Crypto Tax Compliances

  • Ascertaining type of ITR (Income Tax Return) applicable
  • Accurately reporting different crypto incomes
  • Verification and uploading of Income Tax Return assesment

Crypto Tax Assessment

  • Responding to notices issued by the Income Tax Department
  • Representing clients during Income Tax hearings
  • Negotiation and assistance in completion of assessment

Financial Advisory Session

This meeting is to listen to you & to understand your goals, concerns, challenges, aspirations, risk appetite etc. The reason is: we do not know anything about you. We don't know whether you are single / married, whether if married, your wife works or not, whether you have one child/ two children, whether your parents are dependent on you or not, whether there is a younger brother/sister whom you are supporting, whether you intend studying further ? We don’t know your current investments, cash flows, EMI’s etc. Till the time we don't have a complete picture we would actually be doing a dis-service to you by giving any advise or working on any strategy to improve your financial well being. The first session is completely Free.

FEMA Compliances

Comprehensive Financial Planning in Mumbai

Price Varies - Call for a Quote

Sole Proprietorship Registration

The Proprietor must be an Indian citizen and a Resident of India. There is no approval required prior to the commencement of business. But, Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and Persons of Indian Origin can invest or start sole their proprietorship business only with prior approval of the Government of India. Sole Proprietorship is an unorganized business structure and there is no specific law enforced for the said registration. We provides services for Sole Proprietorship registration under MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Establishments) Development Act, 2006 of Central Government. The business entity must fulfill the registration requirement.The registered entity under MSMED Act can avail subsidies, incentives, and schemes launched by the Central Government with respect to the specific Business on the basis of a registration certificate.

Partnership Firm Registration

The Partnership Act provides that both registered and unregistered partnerships are valid and recognized by law. Partnership registration is not compulsory but is beneficial due to effects of non-registration. Mostly, the businesses at initial level prefer unregistered partnership till they reach stable level. The unregistered partnership can be registered at any time after its formation. Formation of Partnership Firm does not require any minimum amount. It can be started with any amount of capital contribution by the partners. Only a registered partnership firm can claim a set off (i.e. mutual adjustment of debts owned by the disputant parties to one another) or other proceedings in a dispute with a third party. Hence, it is advisable for partnership firms to get it registered. The application for Partnership Firm Registration in India is submitted with the Registrar of Firms (RoF) under whose jurisdiction the Place of Business of Partnership Firm falls.

Limited Liability Partnership Registration

LLP is the upgraded version of Normal Partnership Firm. Limited Liability Partnership has been introduced by the LLP Act 2008. Limited Liability Partnership has an easy structure as compared to the Private Limited Company. LLP is suitable for Consultants, Advisers, and Lawyers/Professionals. LLP registration is very pocket-friendly in terms of increasing the Capital, Annual returns and legal compliance etc. There is no need to appoint a Statutory Auditor if your annual turnover is less than 40 Lakhs. If you are planning to register the LLP, make sure that you file an annual return on time. There is no Dividend Distribution Tax on the distribution of profits to its partner. The partner can freely lend loan and borrow the loan from LLP without any Compliance issue.

Private Limited Company Registration

Private Limited Company is a most popular business structure in India, Startup always runs towards the Pvt Ltd Company registration. It has separate existence than its Members and Directors. The Liability of its Members is limited to their Capital contribution in the Company. Venture Capital funds are easily available for Pvt Ltd Company. The operation of the Private limited company registration is more organized than LLP/OPC. More than 90% of Indian Startups have opted for the Private limited company. After Private Limited company registration, you can raise the funds from investors. External funding is not permissible in any other legal structure. You can easily scale your business after forming a private limited company. Private Limited Company is eligible for 3 Years tax benefits under the Startup India Program.

One Person Company Registration

One Person Company (OPC) has been introduced by Companies act 2013. It is a more latest corporate structure in Proprietorship. In OPC Structure you will get almost all the benefits of Private Limited Company so it is advisable to start a Sole Ownership. There is no dividend tax on profit distributed to its owner in OPC. Furthermore, OPC is eligible for Startup India Program and can enjoy tax-free status for 3 years.

Public Limited Company Registration

Public Limited company is a broad level association of members who intent to float a company with a mission of IPO etc. Public limited Company has the benefit of raising fund from Public. But this structure is NOT suitable for the early stage startup. The Annual Compliance cost of the Private limited company is less as compared to a public Limited company, so we would strongly recommend to start a business as Private Ltd. For Public Limited Company Registration, the minimum number of directors must be three and a minimum number of shareholders must be 7.

Chartered Accountant Services in Mumbai

Accountancy: This includes the writing up of accounts and the preparation of financial statements. It encompasses a wide area ranging from simple Book keeping to complex financial analysis. Auditing: The purpose of auditing is to satisfy the users of financial statements that the accounts presented to them are drawn up on correct accounting principles and that they represent a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the organisation. Taxation: The assessment of taxes is very closely linked with financial accounts. We as Chartered Accountants with our experience in accounts & taxation offer to prepare the returns for tax purposes, represent assessees before the Income-Tax authorities and rendering general advice on taxes to our clients. We also undertake Special Company Work such as the formation, financial structure and liquidation of limited companies. We undertake complete Secretarial and Registration work.

CA Services in Mumbai

Management Accounting: We render this CA services which is utilized in a variety of ways like formulation of policies, day to day control, performance evaluation, etc. We offer Companies Secretarial Work to small and medium enterprises. The advantages of having a Chartered Accountant on the Board of Directors are now well recognised and we are open to to take such position and provide immense value to these organisations.

GST Registration in Mumbai

It is mandatory for any business whose aggregate turnover in a financial year exceeds Rs 20 lakhs to get GST Registration under Goods and Services Tax. This limit is set at Rs 10 lakhs for North Eastern and hilly states flagged as special category states. Also, the definition of taxable turnover has been changed to aggregate turnover. PRICE quoted above is the Starting Price ONLY. Please call us for complete details.

GST Returns

All individuals registered under the GST Act has to furnish the details of the sales and purchases of goods and services along with the tax collected and paid. This can be done by filing online returns. GST Returns are the Goods and Services Tax Return forms that taxpayers of all types have to file with the income tax authorities of India under the new GST rules. PRICE quoted above is the Starting Price for one month of filing returns. Please call us for complete details.

GST Nil Return

GST Zero Return

Rectification in GST Details

Price varies depending upon type of rectification sought

Deduct TDS on NRI Under Section 195

As per Income Tax Act 1961, Any person responsible for paying to Non Resident or Non Resident Indian, neither being a company nor being a foreign company, of any interest or any other sum chargeable under the provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961 (Excluding income chargeable under the head “Salaries”). Any such payment shall at the time of credit of such income to the account of payee or at the time of payment through any mode i.e. Cash, Cheque, Bankers Cheque, Demand Draft or any other mode should deduct TDS at prevailing TDS Rate under section 195.

NIL / Lower Tax Deduction Certificate for NRI

NRI seller can produce NIL / Lower Tax Deduction Certificate under section 195 & the applicable TDS rate will be as per certificate issued by the income tax department. The original certificate will be retained by the buyer. To obtain NIL / Lower Tax Deduction Certificate under section 195 is sole responsibility of NRI Seller.


CA in Mumbai | Chartered Accountant in Mumbai | Tax Consultant | Tax Advisor | Borivali | Kandivali | Malad

Cryptocurrency Redefining the Future of Finance?

Cryptocurrency Tax Consultant | CA India | Chartered Accountant India

Cryptocurrency is a thriving ecosystem, quietly encroaching on conventional finance’s territory.

Over the last five years, Bitcoin users and transactions have averaged a growth rate of nearly 60% per year. Similarly, private and public investors have deepened their commitment to cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Ripple (XRP), and Stellar—and a number of others across the industry.

Today’s infographic unpacks a cross-section of cryptocurrencies, stakeholders, and core applications across a sector that’s continuing to grow in importance.

The Evolution of Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has erupted into a $200 billion industry, sparking a wave of global disruption.

At the heart of cryptocurrency is a rich history of innovation. It extends back to the 1980s with advances in the field of cryptography—eventually leading to the technology that forms encryption techniques designed to protect the network.

Since then, a series of key events have continued to shape the sector.

YearEvent
2009Satoshi Nakamoto mines the first Bitcoin on a decentralized network
2011Litecoin launches
2012Ripple is founded
2013The price of a single Bitcoin reaches $1,000
2015Ethereum launches, introducing smart contracts into the crypto ecosystem
2017Over 1,000 cryptocurrencies listed
2017Bitcoin's price rockets past $10,000, reaching a peak just shy of $20,000
2018EOS offers a blockchain-based infrastructure for decentralized apps (DApps)

 

Now, there are over 5,000 cryptocurrencies in circulation, with many built on innovative applications and use-cases as the ecosystem rapidly evolves.

The Value of Cryptocurrencies

Today, crypto offers cutting-edge advances that are diverse and transformative. In addition, it could also be considered an investment in tomorrow’s financial system—decentralized finance (DeFi).

DeFi is an emerging alternative financial system that is built on a public blockchain, which enables greater accessibility because anyone has the ability to connect to it. Additionally, transactions are publicly visible, enabling greater transparency across the system.

Here is a refresher on some of the practical advantages being applied across cryptocurrencies.

Use CasesNameDescription
PaymentsBitcoin
Ripple (XRP)
Stellar
Dash
Used for purchasing goods without the need of a trusted third-party
Value StorageBitcoin
Litecoin
As the total supply of many cryptocurrencies are limited, this scarcity influences their value
StablecoinsDAI
USDC
GeminiUSD
Digital money that is typically pegged to a currency or commodity, such as gold
PrivacyMonero
Zcash
Cryptography, the technology behind crypto, can enable the anonymity of its owners
Digital OwnershipBitcoin
Ripple (XRP)
Stellar
Can empower those without access to a bank to enter the financial system
Digital GoldBitcoinBitcoin shares similar attributes to money: a medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value
Decentralized Apps (DApps)EOS
Tezos
Ethereum (ETH)
Enable individuals to create apps without a central authority, directly connecting the user and creator

 

The Key Players in the Crypto Landscape

The cryptocurrency ecosystem is growing rapidly. Worldwide, private and public actors recognize its potential across many domains.

Who are the primary participants in the field today?

Private Actors

  1. Institutional Investors
    Harvard Endowment Fund, Crypto Hedge Funds
  2. Cryptocurrency Exchanges
    Coinbase, Bitstamp
  3. Banks & Finance
    J.P. Morgan, Fidelity Investments, Swissquote
  4. Tech
    IBM, Microsoft
  5. Power & Utilities
    RWE

Public Actors

  1. Governments
    Venezuela
  2. Central Banks
    China, Sweden, Saudi Arabia
  3. Organizations
    Crypto Valley Association, Global Digital Finance

The rising popularity of crypto is bolstering new policies and adoption, as evidenced by the many players trying to break into the space.

The Big Picture:

As crypto continues to gain momentum, its longer-term implications will come into focus. Crucially, its cryptographic foundation sets the stage for future advances in finance.

  1. Privacy
    Anonymized transactions protect users data through cryptographic techniques
  2. Access
    Providing a new financial model for 1.7B unbanked individuals around the world
  3. Efficiency
    Steep reductions in settlement time and efficacy could save consumers $16 billion annually
  4. Security
    Providing immutable, traceable records of security-rich transactional networks
  5. Programmable Money
    Smart contracts could drastically eliminate manual and administrative work⁠— ultimately bypassing them altogether

Rooted in decentralized and autonomous systems, cryptocurrencies are creating second-order effects in the financial world. Ultimately, cryptocurrencies are helping to transform finance as we know it—unlocking countless investment opportunities across the global economy.

DISCLAIMER

The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up.  The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that we are not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. CA Mitesh and Associates is Mumbai's leading Cryptocurrency Taxation Firm which is committed to helping people navigate complex tax laws and banking regulations. Our main aim is to assist the individuals with applicable laws & regulations compliance and providing support at each & every level to make sure that they stay compliant and grow continuously. For any query, help or feedback you may get in touch here - Appointment with CA

CA in Mumbai | Chartered Accountant in Mumbai | Tax Consultant | Tax Advisor | Borivali | Kandivali | Malad

Cryptocurrencies - Tax Issues & Other Regulations

In this article, we will cover Cryptocurrencies - Tax Issues & Other Regulations around it in India.

BACKGROUND

Crypto-currencies have recently been in the spotlight and under the scanner of the tax authorities primarily due to the high prices at which they were seen trading on exchanges in India and around the world. However, the crypto-currency ecosystem is not all only about the various coins, such as bitcoins, but also includes several other actors and participants. Due to the rapidly evolving business models and complexity of the underlying blockchain technology, regulators and tax authorities are yet to come out with clear positions on various issues. This article attempts to raise questions that still remain unresolved, particularly from the perspective of not only the taxation of crypto-currencies themselves but also the manner in which other participants in the crypro-currency ecosystem are regulated and taxed. This article will also differentiate between a crypto-currency and a utility token which are often interchangeably used in common parlance even though they are fundamentally different with their own unique set of tax challenges.

 

PARTICIPANTS IN THE CRYPTO-CURRENCY ECOSYSTEM

The crypto-currency ecosystem broadly involves the

  • miners
  • nodes
  • traders
  • crypto-currency exchanges
  • hash power rental companies
  • utility companies that issue tokens and
  • the casual consumer/customer who invests into bitcoins.

Briefly each of their roles are described below:

Crypto-currencies - Regulatory and Tax Issues

Miners

This is a term used to describe companies or individuals who use computing power to solve cryptographic problems generated by the blockchain When a miner is the first person to solve a particular cryptographic problem, then the miner is credited with a bitcoin by the blockchain software. For the sake of simplicity, the process of mining or solving the cryptographic problem should be understood to contribute toward the verification of a transaction that is conducted over the blockchain network, for instance, the transfer of a bitcoin from one wallet to another.

Nodes

This is the term used to refer to computing terminals that are part of the system of computing devices that run the blockchain software. Each node has a copy of the blockchain on it. Therefore, the blockchain system is also called a distributed ledger system as the entire record of transactions verified by the blockchain system is available in entirety on every node. The blockchain system is also considered significantly more secure than other softwares primarily because for any transaction to be verified and entered into the distributed ledger or blockchain, more than half the number of nodes connected to the system need to verify the transaction. Therefore, unlike traditional network where with increasing number of participants the network gets increasingly insecure, since each new person could be a source of a hack, the blockchain system gets increasingly secure as controlling more than fifty per cent of the nodes becomes more difficult. Historically, before blockchain became a famous phenomenon, individuals used to use their personal computers or even cell phones for the purpose of mining. However, with the surge in popularity of bitcoin and decreasing supply of mineable bitcoins, miners today use sophisticated hardware that is specially designed for this purpose which provides high end computing power.

Traders

Traders are individuals or companies that in the business of buying and selling bitcoins with the intention of making a profit.

Crypto-currency Exchanges

Crypto- currency exchanges act as online platforms that enable the traders and casual customers to buy and sell crypto- Exchanges perform the important function of market making as crypto-currencies tend to be illiquid in nature and if not for the market created or enable by exchanges trades would become significantly difficult for casual customers especially. Exchanges often allow either a crypto to crypto trade or crypto to fiat currency trade and vice versa. Most of the buying and selling happen between third parties, namely traders or consumers and it is only in very rare scenarios do the exchanges themselves own the cryptocurrency. Some exchanges have also accepted payments or service fees in bitcoins for enabling transactions on the exchange and therefore may be in possession of the same. However, as explained later below, due to the apprehension that ownership of bitcoins may lead to complications under the Goods and Services Acts (GST) or under the Income-tax Act, 1961 (ITA), most exchanges had shifted to operating a mere online platform for fees. Exchanges also self-regulated themselves and implemented stringent KYC norms while onboarding a customer. However, recently the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has banned all institutions which fall under its regulatory framework from rendering services for any activity of virtual currencies. (Prohibition on dealing with Virtual Currencies, RBI Notification : RBI/2017-18/154 (6-4-2018))

This has caused severe hardship to exchanges and casual consumers who were conducting genuine trade activities. It is expected therefore that exchanges will shift operations abroad, which will result in a loss of revenue for the tax department.

Hash Power Rental Companies

Since mining operations require tremendous amounts of electricity, they appear to usually be globally located in places where cheap electricity is available. In some instances, tax breaks or incentives could result in mining operations being conducted in certain places. Such companies invest money in buying specialized computer equipment that has been designed and manufactured for the purpose of mining bitcoins and then rent the computing power to other miners or third parties in exchange for fees. Therefore, irrespective of whether the miner is actually rewarded the bitcoin or not, the hash power rental companies receive their service fees. These activities should not be affected by the RBI ban mentioned above as their activities are akin to the provision of a cloud computing service or an online data storage place. The ban should not be applicable to them solely because their client uses their computing power towards the mining of bitcoins. Additionally, the concern for RBI while imposing the ban would have been the inability to possibly track cross-border flow of bitcoins and therefore exchange of money effectively, which should not be a concern in this case as the hash power rental company in India is only being paid service fees.

Utility Companies that issue Utility Tokens

Companies have taken to tokenization to popularize their products or services using terms and jargon similar to that of crypto-currencies. However, there is a significant difference between utility tokens and crypto-currencies. Utility token are issued by a company and therefore there is a counter party involved in the issuance On the other hand, cryptocurrencies are issued or granted to the miners by the blockchain software on the solving of the cryptographic puzzle. For a utility token, mere fiat currency would be sufficient to purchase such tokens without conducting any mining activity in most instances. Secondly, the utility token is usually redeemable or exchangeable for services or products offered by the issuing company in the future. The bitcoin does not have any such utility or inherent value and its value is more often dictated by the vagaries of demand and supply. Therefore a utility token is similar to a top up card that is used in food courts where the money is merely tokenized. The tokens in themselves may have a market as they are usually freely tradeable and therefore their value may go up, which is similar to bitcoins. However, once exchanged for services the tokens are consumed which is unlike bitcoins.

Casual consumer/customer

Initially participants in the early stages of the blockchain network were casual participants who undertook this as a hobby or side Today, there are several individuals who are not traders but occasionally like to transact in bitcoins. The RBI ban has made it difficult for them to now sell the bitcoins they own and the prices have fallen as a result of the ban. Customers could also exchange bitcoins in return for any service or good, which is possible in countries like japan which have accepted bitcoins as a mode of payment. Prior to the ban, there was significant interest to undertake arbitrage trading where an individual would ideally want to purchase bitcoins outside India at a lower price and sell it within India where it was trading at a higher price at that point in time. However, the lack of clarity in the regulations and associated risks deterred many customers.

 

TAX AND REGULATORY ISSUES IN THE CRYPTO-CURRENCY ECOSYSTEM

Based on the above description, several tax and regulatory concerns for these parties are highlighted below based on the activities they undertake:

 

  1. The RBI has not notified bitcoins or any other virtual currency as officially recognized currency till date and it look like an unlikely Usually fiat currencies are issued by a central bank or governmental authority and is backed by assets such as gold which are in the possession of the issuing entity. Bitcoin being granted by the blockchain software does not meet those qualifications. Had bitcoin been classified as currency, the impact would have  been that it is immediately out of the ambit of GST since ‘goods’ is defined not to include currency.
  2. Under the Sale of Goods Act, 1930, property of any kind that is movable property would qualify as a good provided it is sold for monetary Therefore, arguably bitcoins are goods under this act only in crypto to fiat or fiat to crypto transactions and as such barter transactions are not recognized (which would in theory include crypto to crypto transactions). Extending the same logic if a person were to purchase other goods using crypto, such transactions would also not be covered by the Sale of Goods Act, 1930.
  3. Under the ITA, capital assets are also defined to be property of any kind and is likely to cover bitcoins as The question then arises as to whether bitcoins could also qualify as stock-in-trade. Based on earlier clarifications by the Central Board of Direct taxes (CBDT) with respect to classification of shares as capital assets or stock-in-trade, it may be possible to take a view that a bitcoin sold by a casual consumer is a capital asset while a trader could possibly treat them as stock in trade. If it is treated as stock-in-trade then taxes would be payable on the consideration received under the head of business income.
  4. Further, once a bitcoin is treated as a capital asset, depending on its period of holding, cost of acquisition and the sale consideration, capital gains should be payable at the time of When consideration is received in fiat currency, there is no difficulty, however in barter transactions, valuation of the consideration could lead to issues or disputes. Further, cost of acquisition is may also prove a challenge when the bitcoin is not acquired from another third party. When a bitcoin is mined, there are no specific rules as to how the cost of acquisition should be calculated. In such a situation, it is possible that it may not be calculable and therefore no capital gains tax should be payable. Alternatively, the expenses incurred in setting up the mining equipment and the running expenses could be counted towards the cost of acquisition and improvement.
  5. Even in situations where the bitcoin is acquired in exchange for services through a barter transaction, issues can be raised as to the value of the consideration received. As bitcoins are traded around the world at different rates and even intra-day prices could significantly differ, it is possible that this could also potentially lead to litigation.
  6. With respect to hash power rental companies, their service fees would be the income that would be subject to income tax, but not the bitcoin that their mining operation generates since that would be deemed be the assets of the customer who has hired their Therefore, this situation should be similar to a company that does research and development for a third party under contract.
  7. For individuals, especially those that had bought bitcoins using cash in the early days of bitcoin or non-resident Indians (NRI), the risk of being scrutinized is When an NRI owns bitcoins outside India then there is no obligation to disclose the existence of the same in India. It is only when an NRI derives income from sale of assets in India that there is a requirement to disclose the same and pay taxes. However, if the NRI were to sell the bitcoins outside India and were to attempt to remit the money into India, since they would have made huge gains, chances are that it will be scrutinized closely. It may even be possible for Income Tax authorities to send notices, as they have in the past, asking about the source of income or the money and to show proof that it is not undisclosed income or black money. This could be a significant problem since at times it may be difficult to prove the manner in which bitcoins were acquired in the early days of the ecosystem. It is also tricky to establish that the bitcoin was located outside India since it is a locationless asset and the closest approximation of a location could be the wallet on it was stored at the time of acquisition. However, it is possible that the consumers are not aware as to the location of the server on which the wallet is hosted in which case it could lead to litigation. 
  8. Similarly, for resident Indians who have bought bitcoins outside India, they are under an obligation to disclose foreign assets and money in their foreign bank Here again, the risks highlighted about with respect to source of funds and location of the asset could prove to be thorny issues even for genuine consumers. Should there be any default detected on their part the penalties could potentially be high.
  9. GST should also be applicable to trades of crypto-currencies as the definition of goods is wide enough to cover intangible property including crypto-currencies. In such an event, when the bitcoin is sold for cash, there would be a single supply that should be subject to Should the bitcoin be traded for another good, it should be considered a barter or in fact two simultaneous supplies and therefore GST would be payable twice resulting in a significant GST impact.
  10. If the supply of bitcoin is by a consumer, but not in course of his business, for instance to buy icecream, then it should not a taxable supply under GST.
  11. Being a locationless good, there are difficulties in determining whether it is an inter-State or intra-State supply of This would also impact whether the trades are across borders or not as well. The taxation and registration implications would differ significantly based on that.
  12. Issues may arise in respect of exchanges as to the value on which GST is payable. Ideally it should only be on the service fee component charged by them, however, the tax authorities may take a different view on the matter.
  13. While there is better clarity on hash power rental companies from a tax standpoint as they can be treated similar to any IT support services company, the Registrar of Companies may refuse to incorporate companies which mention crypto-currencies in the AOA or MOA, which could present a significant practical challenge. Additionally, banks may also choose to be conservative in interpreting the RBI ban and refuse to open a bank account for such companies.
  14. Initial coin offerings, depending on the terms and conditions, could also amount to being securities in which case SEBI may scrutinize such transaction closely in the future.
  15. Utility tokens are more akin to actionable claims as they represent a claim in relation to moveable property or services and therefore may not be taxable under GST which exempts actionable claims from GST, except for betting, gambling and lotteries. Such tokens, depending on the terms and conditions could also amount to a voucher under GST and if they do not qualify as an actionable claim, then the point of taxation is shifted to time at which the token is actually exchanged for services or goods.

 

CONCLUSION

The potential for blockchain technology is huge. It has the ability to be the backbone of India’s digital infrastructure securing all the transactions made on the digital network. Keeping this is mind, it is clear that the technology is here to stay. Outrightly banning crypto-currencies is shortsighted and despite the complexities involved, there are sufficient benefits to consider regulating it and limiting misuse. Globally most countries have embraced it, while only countries with exchange control restrictions such as China or India have banned it. The ban imposed by RBI would be difficult to enforce in practice and as such, consumers lose value, exchanges lose business, the Government loses taxes, while most likely the trades will move either abroad or underground. This is a situation where all stakeholders lose and only way forward is to recognize the flaws of the current approach and take the steps necessary to regulate crypto- currencies in India.


DISCLAIMER

The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc before acting on the basis of the above write up.  The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By the use of the said information, you agree that we are not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. CA Mitesh and Associates is Mumbai's leading Cryptocurrency Taxation Firm which is committed to helping people navigate complex tax laws and banking regulations. Our main aim is to assist the individuals with applicable laws & regulations compliance and providing support at each & every level to make sure that they stay compliant and grow continuously. For any query, help or feedback you may get in touch here - Appointment with CA

CA in Mumbai | Chartered Accountant in Mumbai | Tax Consultant | Tax Advisor | Borivali | Kandivali | Malad