India Budget: Cryptocurrency Tax Rules Unchanged

Lavina Daryanani
Source: Outlook India

2022’s budget session was an important event for the Indian blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. At that time, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the RBI would be launching its digital rupee in 2022-23. The promise was rightfully delivered. In Q4 last year, India rolled out, both, the wholesale and retail CBDC pilot. The phase-wise participation and testing have been going on in full swing across various Indian cities.

Also Read: Would CBDCs eventually lead to the demise of Crypto?

Apart from that, the 30% tax imposition on income from the transfer of virtual digital assets was another major highlight. As known, neither deductions nor exemptions were allowed. That was accompanied by a 1% TDS announcement on the payments made for the transfer of digital assets. Additionally, it was clarified that any digital asset transaction loss could not be set off against any other gain.

Owing to the stringent measures, Indians started sending their cryptocurrency funds to non-Indian platforms. From February to October 2022, they transferred $3.8 billion [₹32,000 crores] in aggregate trade volume from domestic to international exchanges. Out of that, a total volume of $3.05 billion was sent within the first six months of the current financial year.

Read More: India: $3.8B Worth Crypto Moved To Foreign Exchanges Post 30% Tax Rule

What does Budget 2023-24 entail for cryptocurrency?

Today’s presentation marked the last full budget of the Modi 2.0 government. Owing to 2024’s general elections, the budget next year will be presented twice. Initially, the interim budget before polls will be unveiled. After that, the second full budget will be released after the elections.

Kicking off her 2023 speech in the parliament, Nirmala Sitharaman asserted that the Indian economy “is on the right track,” and is heading towards a bright future, despite being faced with challenges. The minister said that this budget is focused on job creation and the upliftment of youth.

Nirmala Sitharaman, however, did not touch upon cryptocurrency. This likely means that cryptocurrency tax rules remain unchanged this year. In her whole budget speech, the Finance Minister did not talk a word about this novel asset class or CBDCs.

Like outlined in a recent article, a few experts from the space expected the measures to get more stringent. However, others from the community expected no change.

Also Read: Reserve Bank of India Governor Calls for an Outright Crypto Ban