Income Tax Dept. Raids Bitcoin Exchanges In India; Will India Ban Cryptocurrency Trading?
These raids were carried under Section 133A, under which IT Dept. can raid any business establishment for finding out truth regarding tax evasion.
And then, suddenly, the crackdown began.
For the first time in India, Income Tax Dept. carried mass raids across 9 bitcoin exchanges in the country, with the sole aim of finding out whether tax evasion is happening or not.
China has already banned any sort of cryptocurrency trading. Will India too go that way?
We try to find out the truth..
Income Tax Raids Bitcoin Exchanges in India
Across 5 Indian cities: Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi, Income Tax Dept. carried sudden raids inside 9 popular bitcoin exchanges which includes Zebpay, whose turnover jumped to Rs 10,000 crore this year from Rs 1200 crore a year back.
Unocoin, Coinsecure were among those whose offices were raided by IT Dept. sleuths.
The value of bitcoins have touched almost Rs 11 lakh, as Rs 5000 to Rs 10,000 crore are traded in a month in India, even as 50,000 new bitcoin investors are registering themselves daily.
What Triggered The IT Raids?
These raids were carried under Section 133A, according to which IT Dept. can raid any business establishment for finding out truth regarding tax evasion.
The objective was to find out whether any investor is evading tax by investing in bitcoins or not. We had earlier reported that penalty up to 200% has been announced for those, who fail to declare profits from bitcoins in India.
An unnamed IT official said,
“Surveys are being done to gather evidence for establishing identity of investors and traders, transactions undertaken by them, identity of counter parties and related bank accounts used, etc”
During the raids, IT officials seized computers, servers and documents from the offices, and also briefly detained employees and owners of these exchanges.
The money trail has now begun, and a major crackdown is expected on those who were evading tax by investing in bitcoins.
Will India Go The China Way?
In November this year, China officially banned all forms of cryptocurrency trading in their country, and now, China doesn’t have any exchange where people can trade bitcoins or other digital currencies.
For instance Huobi, which was considered as one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in China, has shifted their operations to South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong; so has BTCC and OKCoin.
Now, China is working on their own cryptocurrency called China Coin, which is expected to replace all form of physical cash in the next 10 years.
Will India too go the China way, and ban all forms of crypto-currencies and then launch their own digital currency in coming days?
We will keep you updated as the bitcoin saga unfolds in India!