Značka: Indian government

Indian taxman recovers $6.62M from WazirX for evading tax on commission

Indian crypto exchange WazirX has reportedly paid over $6.6 million (49.2 crore rupees) following non-payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on trade commissions. The total recovery includes the pending tax of $5.43 million (40.5 crore rupees), the interest and a penalty for non-payment.Government officials from the Central GST and Central Excise committee (CGST Mumbai Zone) recovered the funds from the crypto exchange after detecting a GST evasion of $5.43 million on the commissions. A typical GST fraud involves creating fake invoices without actually moving the goods between the seller and the buyer.Officers of CGST Mumbai East comm’te have detected GST Evasion of Rs 40.5 Cr. on commission of Wazir X Crypto Currency & recovered Rs 49.2 Cr. in cash as GST, interest & Penalty today on 30.12.2021 from Zanmai Labs Pvt. Ltd. @nsitharamanoffc @mppchaudhary @cbic_india @PIBMumbai— CGST Mumbai Zone (@cgstmumbaizone) December 30, 2021According to local media Economic Times, the tax department detected that WazirX uses its in-house WRX tokens for commissions, which were distributed by Zanmai Labs. Further investigation revealed that the crypto exchange missed out on paying 18% tax on the total tokens issued based on its market price.The investigators revealed that WazirX paid GST on the 0.2% commission it charges users for making trades with local currency i.e. the rupee, clarifying:“But in cases where the trader opts for transaction in WRX coins, the commission charged is 0.1% of trading volume and they were not paying GST on this commission.”It is also important to note that WazirX and WRX tokens are owned by Binance, the world’s biggest crypto exchange in terms of the trading volume. According to a Zanmai Labs spokesperson, the non-payment of tax was related to the misinterpretation of GST rules:“We voluntarily paid additional GST in order to be cooperative and compliant. There was and is no intention to evade tax.”WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty previously told Cointelegraph about the importance of regulatory clarity for retail adoption. He also warned that an overnight regulation may harm the progress of the crypto ecosystem and leave open loopholes for bad actors:“There is a $2.5-trillion market out there, and it is not going to wait for any nation to come on board. I’ve been tweeting ‘#IndiaWantsCrypto’ for over 1,000 days with the sole objective of having crypto regulation in India.”Day 1000What a milestone for Indian Crypto!With #IndiaWantsCrypto my mission has been:- Bring positive crypto regulation in India- Spread right information about CryptoLakhs of people have joined this campaignLet’s continue our missionJai Hind #IndiaWantsCrypto— Nischal (WazirX) ⚡️ (@NischalShetty) July 28, 2021

While the concept of GST is fairly new in the region, the government of India has previously agreed to show leniency to defaulters and fraudsters — typically settling such cases with a monetary penalty and a lower probability of jail time. WazirX has not yet responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.Related: Indian trade group recommends ‘special class security’ status for cryptoIn an attempt to help the Indian government decide crypto laws, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) proposed to treat cryptocurrencies as securities of a special class. A report released by the non-government trade association showed the CII proposes to formulate new regulations around the nascent crypto market instead of regulating them under existing securities law.As Cointelegraph reported, the CII recommended a special provision of income tax and GST laws, which will treat cryptocurrencies as an asset class for tax purposes unless specifically treated as “stock in trade“ by a participant.

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SEBI chief warns Indian mutual funds on investing in cryptocurrency offerings

The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Ajay Tyagi urged mutual funds to avoid investing in crypto-related assets as the government considers new cryptocurrency rules. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Tyagi advised firms to refrain from investing in funds linked to crypto assets until there is clarity on the policy and regulatory framework.“Those who have invested in mutual funds, – in companies related to crypto assets or foreign firms through fund-of-funds (FOF) – my thinking is that till we get clarity on its (crypto’s) policy, businesses should not make such investments,” said the SEBI chairman.While the regulatory environment for cryptocurrency in India is currently murky, the country has already witnessed an exponential rise in its popularity. It’s also unclear if crypto investments come with any tax obligations in the country.Tyagi’s remarks come following the recent event involving an asset management firm (AMC), Invesco Mutual Fund. Despite Sebi’s approval, it delayed its blockchain fund last month owing to legislative uncertainty.There have been talks about cryptocurrency being discussed in Parliament during the winter session recently. The talks gained further momentum following a parliamentary standing committee on finance’s meeting with cryptocurrency stakeholders to identify possible opportunities and challenges that may occur when it comes to crypto financing and investment.Related: Institutional managers hold a record $72.3B of crypto — CoinSharesThe Indian government had formally planned to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, for debate in the parliament during its current winter session. The bill, however, does not appear among the bills that India’s lower house will consider as it concludes the winter session.Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Modi has been increasingly vocal regarding cryptocurrencies in 2021. During the recent Sydney Dialogue, Modi urged democratic nations to collaborate in order to make the most of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He also warned against their malicious use.

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Indian police commissioner issues a public warning against crypto frauds

Goel highlighted the various methods that are actively being used by fraudsters to dupe investors such as lucrative investment opportunities, illegitimate bank transfers and cryptocurrencies. Acknowledging the growth of Indian crypto users, Goel added:“They [fraudsters] ask you to share your cryptocurrency details. And once you put it in your wallet, then the money is taken away.”After simplifying the elaborate fraud in a sentence, Goel also highlighted that sixteen such cases have been registered involving cryptocurrencies.The Additional Commissioner of Police Shikha Goel warned Indian citizens about the rise in cybercrime in an event hosted by the city police of Hyderabad, India, suggesting not to transfer cryptocurrencies to unauthorized private wallets.Do not transfer your cryptocurrency to unauthorised private wallets Dont fall prey to fraudsters #BeCyberSmart pic.twitter.com/eJOwsnLSmX— Shikha Goel, IPS (@AddlCPCrimesHyd) December 26, 2021As a fair warning to the Indian crypto investors, the commissioner said:“If you are going to be using or investing in cryptocurrency, please go only to the reputed and long-established players in this field.”Speaking to local news The Hindu, Goel revealed that 14 out of the 16 crypto fraud cases were directly related to investment and trading. Typically, the fraudsters convince the victims to transfer their newly purchased cryptocurrencies for higher profits, which according to Goel:“People have been cheated of 3.45 crore rupees (roughly $458,000) in their greed for higher returns against investment in cryptocurrency.”DIAL 155260 to report financial cyber fraud like OTP , UPI or any other cyber crime where you have lost money And yes do not delay in informing If you inform us on time on this helpline chances of retrieving the amount are high #BeCyberSmart pic.twitter.com/HgXF34h2ko— Shikha Goel, IPS (@AddlCPCrimesHyd) December 26, 2021

“Once you get cheated, it is a dead-end. Virtual money can never be traced back and returned to the original owner,” she concluded.Related: Indian state government to accredit Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 blockchain startupsThe state government of Telangana also leads India’s blockchain efforts as it launches India Blockchain Accelerator program to foster early-stage Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 startups and blockchain developers. Speaking to Cointelegraph, Rama Devi Lanka, Telangana government’s director of emerging technology, shared her interest to use blockchain technology for solving real-world problems, adding:“The Telangana government will help provide the required regulatory framework to enable and promote blockchain growth.”

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Indian parliament's agenda for winter session no longer includes crypto bill

The Indian government may still be considering a bill that could ban certain cryptocurrencies in the country, but lawmakers are unlikely to vote on any legislation in the current parliamentary session.According to a Friday publication, India’s lower house of parliament, Lok Sabha, will likely not be looking at a bill proposing the prohibition of “all private cryptocurrencies” before its winter session ends on Thursday. The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill does not appear as one of the seven bills on the government body’s agenda over the last days of its 2021 session.A Nov. 23 bulletin for the Lok Sabha stated that Indian lawmakers could vote on legislation that creates “a facilitative framework for creation of the official digital currency” issued by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India. In addition, the bill proposed banning certain cryptocurrencies. The same bill has previously appeared on the parliament’s agenda but has not led to a vote addressing the regulatory framework or legal status of digital assets. In March 2020, India’s supreme court overturned a blanket ban on crypto imposed by the Reserve Bank of India that had gone into effect two years prior. Since that time, reports from many local media outlets as well as statements from officials suggest that the government is considering different solutions to regulate or possibly ban digital assets.Related: Proposed crypto ban legislation reportedly under review by India’s governmentEven if India’s parliament fails to tackle the crypto legislation, the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, may be able to issue an ordinance to fast-track the bill when the Lok Sabha is not in session, likely between December and January. Officials from India’s Finance Ministry are also reportedly considering a legal framework that could treat cryptocurrencies closer to commodities than currencies.With a population of roughly 1.4 billion, India choosing to establish a concrete legal framework for a central bank digital currency and ban many token projects would likely make significant ripples throughout the space. Following the bill’s introduction to the parliamentary agenda in November, crypto exchange WazirX saw mass selloffs resulting in significant price drops for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and other tokens.

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Indian state government to accredit Web2 and Web3 blockchain startups

The state government of Telangana announced the launch of the India Blockchain Accelerator program to foster early-stage Web2 and Web3 startups and blockchain developers aimed at solving real-world challenges. The program will be launched in partnership with unicorn crypto exchange CoinSwitch Kuber and Lumos Labs, a technology innovation management firm. In a dialogue with Cointelegraph, Rama Devi Lanka, Director Emerging Technology and Officer on Special Duty (OSD), ITE&C Department, Government of Telangana, highlighted the state’s intent to adopt blockchain projects across multiple use cases:“Some of the interesting use cases that the state has already piloted in Blockchain include – T-Chits (Chit funds in Blockchain), Supply Chain (Seed Traceability), E-voting (Digital Voting platform built using Blockchain and AI) and more.”According to the official announcement, the state government’s four-month blockchain accelerator initiative will be open to early-stage Web2 and Web3 startups and blockchain developers. The program seeks blockchain-based solutions for real-world problems across various business verticals, including fintech, entertainment, sustainability, infrastructure and tooling, agritech, logistics and healthcare:“The Telangana Government will help provide the required regulatory framework to enable and promote blockchain growth.”Lanka also disclosed the government’s ongoing efforts into identifying various use cases in nonfungible tokens (NFT), decentralized finance (DeFi) and other crypto initiatives for mainstream implementation. Acknowledging a bullish intent towards leveraging the upcoming blockchain innovations, she said:“The government of Telangana is also focusing on developing and supporting a large scale of the Indian Blockchain talent pool, hopefully, of around 100K in the next 3-4 quarters. ”Lumos Labs co-founder Kaavya Prasad resonated similar sentiments as she highlighted the state government’s openness to new blockchain initiatives. She stressed the need for greater interest towards pilots and production-ready applications:“A collaborative effort from various State Governments will further accelerate the growth of this space and we would be able to have more streamlined progress.”Additionally, CoinSwitch Kuber founder and CEO Ashish Singhal said that the best global startups of tomorrow would run on Web3 blockchain infrastructure, focusing on India’s potential to become a net exporter of technology:“As part of the Indian Crypto industry, we shall endeavor to collaborate with the state government to work towards the vision of making Telangana the blockchain capital of the country. ”Related: India to regulate, not ban, crypto: Cabinet documentsA recent report suggested that the Indian government will not impose a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies. According to Indian news outlet NDTV, a note from the Cabinet meeting related to the crypto bill hinted towards an upcoming regulation. As Cointelegraph reported, local reporter Sunil Prabhu said that the note contained suggestions to regulate cryptocurrencies as crypto assets, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) overseeing the regulation of local crypto exchanges.

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IMF chief economist calls for global policy on cryptocurrency

Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has called for a global policy to be put in place that will regulate cryptocurrency, instead of banning it.Pitching for a global policy, Gopinath, who will soon take charge as the deputy managing director of the IMF, argued that if countries were to ban crypto then they would not have any control over offshore exchanges that are not subject to their country’s regulations, which could result in them being ignored completely. “There are challenges to banning it whether you can end up with truly banning crypto because many exchanges are offshore and they are not subject to regulations of a particular country,” Gopinath said at an event organized by the National Council of Applied Economic Research.Gita’s remarks come as nations around the world consider how to control cryptocurrencies. As Cointelegraph reported in September, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) officially unveiled a series of new measures to combat crypto adoption in China, including enhancing inter-departmental cooperation in suppressing crypto activity. Earlier this month, the Russian central bank officially prohibited mutual funds from investing in Bitcoin (BTC).Related: India to regulate, not ban, crypto: Cabinet documentsIn India, the government is seeking cabinet approval for a bill that would regulate cryptocurrencies. The official Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 was expected to be presented during Parliament’s Winter Session, but top government sources indicated that optimism is slim.In the United Kingdom, members of Parliament have urged the Financial Conduct Authority to limit cryptocurrency firms’ usage of the words “invest” and “investment” for marketing purposes. The advertising watchdog in the U.K. has since issued several rulings on ad violations involving six crypto-related firms including Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, Exmo, crypto broker Coinburp and Luno crypto exchange.

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Indian PM calls for cryptocurrencies to 'empower' democracy at global summit

Cryptocurrency made an appearance at a global online summit for world leaders in a speech from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.At Friday’s events for the Summit for Democracy hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, Modi said India would be willing to offer other countries “innovative digital solutions” to facilitate free and fair elections and governance. In addition, the Prime Minister called for a global standard on cryptocurrencies and major social media platforms, likely referring to the impact some have had on politics in India as well as many other countries:”We must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it […] By working together, democracies can meet the aspirations of our citizens.”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking at Friday’s Summit for DemocracyAs the Prime Minister of India, Modi represented roughly 1.4 billion people at the summit, the largest democracy in the world by a large margin. His remarks came as the Indian government prepares to consider a bill that could ban certain cryptocurrencies, but also encourage the creation of a digital rupee. Different reports have suggested that the legislation is aimed at regulating crypto rather than banning it. The same bill has previously appeared on the Indian parliament’s agenda but has not yet led to a vote. The Reserve Bank of India also had a blanket ban on crypto on the books until March 2020, when the country’s supreme court overturned it. Related: Lines in the sand: US Congress is bringing partisan politics to cryptoDespite the lack of regulatory clarity in India, Modi has called on countries to work together on crypto and blockchain and urged others to consider the ethics when using the technology. The next general election in India is expected to occur in 2024 when citizens will choose new members for the country’s lower house of parliament.“It is important that all democratic nations work together on [crypto] and ensure it does not end up in wrong hands, which can spoil our youth,” said the PM in a Nov. 17 tweet.

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Indian CoinDCX crypto exchange to go global in 2022, says exec

Ongoing uncertainty around cryptocurrency regulation in India isn’t stopping domestic crypto companies from launching global offerings.Indian cryptocurrency exchange CoinDCX is preparing to move forward with its global crypto-to-crypto trading platform — dubbed Cosmex — in 2022, according to a senior executive at the company.Ramalingam Subramanian, head of brand, marketing and communications at CoinDCX, told Cointelegraph that CoinDCX has significant ambitions regarding the exchange’s global expansion as its upcoming platform will target a global audience.The firm initially announced the development of Cosmex in February 2021, planning to expand CoinDCX’s footprint to the global markets amid the increasing global demand and acceptance for cryptocurrencies.According to Subramanian, the launch of Cosmex is coming “most likely next year” and will initially launch in Western Europe and Southeast Asia.Cosmex “has nothing to do specifically with what’s happening in India,” Subramanian stressed, adding that the platform rather seeks to respond to the “huge demand” for crypto services outside of India. He added that CoinDCX is not willing to add to speculation around regulatory uncertainty in India by discussing scenarios where Indian regulators take a tougher stance on the industry.Related: India’s crypto unicorn CoinDCX has no immediate plans for IPOSubramanian noted that CoinDCX’s main platform is “focused on India generally” and has restrictions for certain countries.After lifting a major ban on crypto services in 2020, Indian authorities have been reportedly considering other restrictions for the industry. However, experts are confident that the Indian government would most likely choose to regulate rather than ban its growing crypto economy.

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Cabinet note suggests India will regulate, rather than ban, crypto

According to reports from local media, the Indian government will not move for an outright ban on crypto and will instead regulate the sector. On Nov. 23, Cointelegraph reported that the Indian government was considering a bill proposing the creation of an official digital currency while imposing a ban on all “private” cryptocurrencies. The news sparked panic selling on local crypto exchange WazirX the following day, and the vague wording on the bill and lack of clarification from the government have since left many onlookers divided on the prospects for crypto in India.But Indian news outlet NDTV reported on Dec. 2 that it had obtained details of a cabinet note circulating in the government regarding the proposed crypto bill. NDTV reporter Sunil Prabhu said that the note contained suggestions to regulate cryptocurrencies as crypto assets, with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) overseeing the regulation of local crypto exchanges. According to Prabhu, investors will be given a certain time frame to declare their crypto holdings and must transfer them to exchanges regulated by SEBI, which suggests that private wallets may be banned. He added that this is part of a push from the government to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. Prabhu also said that the government will put its plans for a central digital bank currency (CBDC) with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on hold while it focuses on the crypto sector. It will not allow any crypto assets to be recognized as currencies or legal tender, suggesting that it is aiming to provide a clear distinction between the two: “[Cryptocurrency] as a legal tender will not be accepted. That is a clear no. I think that that is what even the prime minister in his deliberations at that meeting made absolutely clear to ensure that does not take place.”“I think they will do it [CBDC] as a standalone virtual currency for the RBI at a later stage, so you can definitely expect a virtual currency soon, but it will take place at a different time,” he added.Related: WazirX, Presearch and Komodo rally after data shows a surge in user activityThe reports from NDTV have been welcomed by some Indian crypto investors. Redditor “ultron290196” posted in r/cryptocurrency subreddit expressing relief at potentially no longer having to worry about an outright ban.“It seems our Indian crypto movement is getting noticed by the government and they’re finally deciding to regulate Cryptocurrency as Crypto “Assets” and not recognized as legal tender. […] All in all, it’s a sigh of relief for us Indian folks. I’d rather pay some tax than become an outcast,” they said. Not everyone was as pleased with the details with “No-Incident-8718” writing, “here’s the catch. No use of hard wallets, only exchange wallets. Also, only using Indian exchanges.”

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