Union Budget 2023 had to offer very little for virtual digital assets (VDA) sector. In fact, the Finance Minister carefully avoided even mentioning about the VDA. However, the industry players took it in stride by acknowledging the fact that they need to abide by the current dispensation. They have advised using tax compliant platform while are hopeful of rise in Web3 & Crypto adoption.
The recent budget has brought gains from overseas cryptocurrencies / VDA under the tax purview. Non abidance of which invites Rs 10 lakh penalty or seven year imprisonment.
“I think the adoption of Web3 and crypto has grown a lot in India. But pertaining to this with the VDA industry, stakeholders are kind of disappointed by the Finance minister not mentioning the sector in her Union budget speech on 1st of February,” said Anndy Lian, Author & advisor for the Mongolian Productivity Organization.
While providing a perspective from across the border and being a staunch advocate of cryptocurrency, Lian believes that the budget 2023 has established its priority towards tax collection.
“I would just want to say that don’t try to avoid TDS by using offshore. You may be penalized as per section 271C of the income tax Act if you are investing in a Crypto,” Lian warned adding that, “Try to use a tax compliant platform, again the words used are fairly ambiguous”.
Similar views were aired by other experts tracking VDA sector.
According to a recent analysis, India’s cumulative trade volume in VDA changed by INR 32,000 crore between February and October 2022. “We expected that in the 2023 budget, the government would t alter VDA taxation, thereby reducing tax burden and eliminating uncertainties. But sadly we are still holding last years baby!,” says Raj Kapoor, founder, India Blockchain Alliance.
He went on to add that VDA taxes impact both residents and non-residents. Without a clear set of criteria to identify when NRs in India become subject to taxation, it has now become critical to understand the status of VDAs, especially when they are exchanged via or sold to Indian citizens. Clear standards in this sector are required to clear the air and promote international investment.
Joining the bandwagon in support of VDA traders is Tax Expert, Sonu Jain, who says “Many Indian users were purchasing crypto assets using International Credit cards or funds transfer. This will now reduce significantly since the TCS has been increased to 20%.”
Concerned by the tax imposition, Jain said, “So every funds transfer under LRS will be leviable to 20% TCS. For example, If a user wishes to buy crypto worth ₹100, then ₹20 will have to be paid as TCS.” This will significantly reduce direct International crypto purchases by Indians..
India assumed the presidency of the G20 summit, and there are hopes with regards to the country moving towards a more favorable ecosystem for crypto in general. Most importantly, India has started 450 web3 startups with an average inflow of 1.3 billion dollars in 2022 according to DYDX foundation. According to media reports there are over 75,000 blockchain employees working in India, raking 3rd in the global list of employers.
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author- “NFT: From Zero to Hero” and “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.