Clear crypto tax rules before April to end confusion, litigation

Clear crypto tax rules before April to end confusion, litigation

The finance ministry is likely to come out with a detailed set of guidelines for officials on the tax treatment of crypto transactions before April 1 to avoid any confusion and litigation.

At present, divergent practices are followed in the treatment of crypto transactions, with some declaring income as capital gains, others as business income, and some not disclosing it at all.

If the income from the transfer of cryptocurrency is treated as business income, then the tax rate is 30%, though with a deduction of charges or expenses incurred. If the income is treated as capital gains, then long-term gains (where it is held for more than 36 months) face a rate of 20% and if held for less than 36 months (short-term gains) then tax as per slab rate is applicable. 

The government has proposed taxing income from virtual digital assets or VDAs at the rate of 30% in the budget to be applicable from April 1. The government had a meeting on Monday to discuss these issues.

The government has so far maintained that taxation of transactions prior to April 1 will be on a case-to-case basis and would be left to assessing officers. However, it has been felt that guidance on this could prevent any confusion. The industry also flagged this issue during its post-budget discussions with the government. 

"The department has discussed all the provisions. The Central Board of Direct Taxes, in consultation with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, will issue detailed guidelines," a senior finance ministry official told ET.

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