Last month, a nationwide survey in India has revealed that in last 17 months of period, people in the country have invested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies worth whopping US$3.5 billion. Seeing this, income tax department had sent notices to tens of thousands of such people who have done trading in any of the cryptocurrencies.
Now, in a fresh report, it is revealed that India’s income tax department has again issued fresh 100,000 tax notices to cryptocurrency investors, in the latest sign of a government crackdown on the use of the cryptocurrencies.
“People who have made investments (in cryptocurrency) and have not declared income while filing taxes and have not paid tax on the profit earned by investing, we are sending them notices as we feel that it is all taxable,” Sushil Chandra, the head of India’s direct taxes department, was quoted as saying in a news release from an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India event Tuesday.
In the recent Union Budget announcement, the Finance minister Arun Jaitley said that digital money isn’t recognized as legal tender in India, and the government has set up a committee to look at issues related to cryptocurrencies. The FM, last year, has warned against investing in cryptocurrencies and called it a ‘Ponzi Scheme’.
Moreover, even JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon has warned against cryptocurrencies and called it as ‘fraud’ and said that it will eventually blow up.
Even the Reserve Bank of India has warned against the financial, economic and security risks it says are associated with holding cryptocurrencies.
Although, in April 2017, an intergovernmental panel was especially formed to work on the draft proposal of regulation of cryptocurrencies and had even submitted its plan on the matter to the Indian Finance Ministry in the first week of August. However everything gone in vain when, in August 2017, Indian Finance Minister clarified that there will be no law in circulation on the use of the popular bitcoin or any similar cryptocurrencies in the Indian subcontinent.
Despite of all this, in last month, a blockchain startup of Indonesian-origin called Pundi X announced that it is preparing to launch point-of-sale network in India so that people in the country can buy and invest in cryptocurrencies not just only online but offline as well.
Astonishingly, in September last year, RBI, which is India’s central bank, announced that it is examining the possibility of cryptocurrency called ‘Lakshmi’ coin, which would become an alternative to the Indian rupee for digital transactions, and unlike bitcoin which is a non-fiat digital currency, the new one will be fiat-cryptocurrency.