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Tax on digital assets

  July 9,2022

All That You Need to Know About Tax on Cryptocurrency & NFT

Taxes on digital assets were pretty vague up to Budget 2022. The finance minister didn't notify the tax structure on corporate or individual levels. But, under new norms, all profits from cryptocurrencies are to be taxed at 30%. It is quite a steep rate and one that might lead you to think twice about investing in digital assets. To understand this move from the government, we have broken down the entire subject of taxes on digital assets into three main sections: tax on income, tax on gifts and the 1% TDS.

People who make money from digital assets must pay tax on that money

In Budget 2022, the finance minister said it would tax digital asset profits at 30%. That doesn't mean that digital assets are legal just because they are taxed. The legality of cryptocurrency as an asset class is still not clear.

Government officials say digital assets include cryptocurrency and NFTs. 

At 30% tax, the people who make different amounts of money will pay the same tax rate.

They would calculate this tax on income after subtracting the cost of acquisition, which could be the price of the cryptocurrency and the fees for transactions.

Moreover, crypto investors can’t set off their losses against any capital gains of other asset classes. However, it's not clear if the profits from one type of digital asset can pay for the losses of another digital asset.

If you use the foreign exchange, a peer-to-peer marketplace like LocalBitcoins or mine your own, you'll have to pay 30% of your profits. On the other hand, miners may be able to write off the cost of things like electricity, the depreciation on their mining computers, and so on.

Moreover, it is crucial to note that you still have to pay tax on your cryptocurrency gains made before April 2022.

Tax on digital assets as gifts

The budget also said that digital assets that were given as gifts would also be taxed. Concerned authorities may include digital assets as ‘property’.

Free digital assets that you receive, such as airdrops, learn-to-earn schemes, and games where you can earn money by playing games, are also included as gifts.

However, under the Income-tax Act of 1961, gifts made to specific relatives or as a wedding gift are not taxed, no matter how big the gift is. Parents, siblings, and other relatives who give money to you don't have to pay tax on it. Gifts that are given at weddings, through a will or inheritance, or in anticipation of the donor's death are also not taxed, no matter how much they are worth.

But, if your friend gets you a gift that costs more than Rs. 50,000 on your birthday, you will have to pay tax on it.

So now, the question is whether the same gift taxation rules that apply to real things would also apply to virtual digital things.

As part of their pay package, people who got digital assets like cryptocurrencies or NFTs will have to pay a 30% tax because, as per the new tax law, it will be considered a gift.

They will have to pay the tax even though they have sold none of the coins yet. Not only that, but in many cases, employees may have to pay tax on more money even though the value of the coins they got has gone down since they got them.

Impact of the 1% TDS

Taxes on income and gifts aren't the only things the government announced in this budget. They also announced a charge of 1% tax on all crypto transactions.

The new section 194S of the Income Tax Act says that crypto exchanges will have to withhold 1% TDS for most transactions starting July 1, 2022. People who use crypto will have to tell the government about all of their transactions to track them.

This TDS may be applicable only if the total amount of cryptocurrency transactions in a year reaches Rs. 50,000 for the following individuals:

  • Each person, as well as Hindu Undivided Families (HUF), who have annual sales, gross receipts, or turnover above Rs. 1 crore.
  • People who make more than Rs.50 lakh a year.
  • People or HUFs who don't have a job or business to make money.

For the other individuals, this TDS may apply if the total amount of crypto transactions in a year is more than Rs. 10,000.

Moreover, as crypto trading takes place all over the world, the foreign cryptocurrency exchange will not deduct 1% TDS, but it is still not clear if and how TDS would be deducted if the transaction took place between an Indian buyer and a seller from another country.

What is your opinion on the taxation of digital assets? If you have any doubts, it will be best to consult us.

This blog is purely for educational purposes and not to be treated as personal advice. Mutual funds are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully.