Despite opposition from legislators, India’s parliament approves a framework for cryptocurrency taxation

According to the framework, people engaging in cryptocurrency transactions would be liable to a 30% tax beginning April 1, while the 1% TDS requirement will take effect on July 1.

A tax structure for cryptocurrencies proposed by India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will become legislation after being incorporated into the Finance Bill as an amendment.

The Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament, passed the 2022 Finance Bill on Friday, with Sitharaman’s 39 modifications incorporated. The crypto amendment imposed a 30% tax on digital asset and nonfungible token transactions, with no deductions for trading losses when calculating income. Additionally, Indian taxpayers will have an additional 1% tax deducted at source, or TDS.

According to the framework, persons who undertake crypto transactions will be liable to a 30% tax beginning April 1, while the demand for 1% tax deducted at source would take effect on July 1. Numerous Indian legislators in parliament, as well as local industry leaders, have expressed opposition to the proposed framework, arguing it would certainly “kill crypto” in the nation.

“What difference does a 1% TDS make to the blockchain’s business?” asked Member of Parliament Ritesh Pandey. “It is crucial to recognize that the finance minister’s decision to impose this 1% TDS on the blockchain industry will impede the way this business is conducted.”

Pinaki Misra, another Lok Sabha member, added:

“Today to ban cryptocurrency is the equivalent of banning the internet. It is an idea whose time has come […] the government has gone on to a 30% [tax] on the basis that it must be at a higher [capital gains tax] because it is some kind of sin.”

With the adoption of the crypto tax policy, India now has one of the country’s first regulatory frameworks for digital assets, following a 2020 Supreme Court judgement that overturned the Reserve Bank of India’s prohibition on banks engaging with crypto businesses. Appealing to the Supreme Court would almost certainly be one of the few legal avenues open to opponents of the newly enacted framework seeking reversal.

A bill proposing to prohibit the use of “private cryptocurrencies” in India was previously referenced in parliamentary proceedings. However, the governing body’s current session, which ends April 8, is not expected to include a debate on the measure.

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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