India's Tax Authority Wants a Chunk of Your Bitcoin Profits

India's Tax Authority Wants a Chunk of Your Bitcoin Profits

India's Tax Authority Wants a Chunk of Your Bitcoin Profits

The Income Tax (IT) department of the Indian government is conducting some survey operations at major Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges across the country.

The official stated that the objective was "gathering evidence to establish the identity of investors and traders, transactions undertaken by them, identity of the counterparties, related bank accounts used, etc".

The Indian Income Tax Department has visited bitcoin exchanges across the country seeking to identify users.

Thousands of transactions are taking place every day in unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges and the Income Tax Department has launched surveys in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, spokeswoman Surbhi Ahluwalia said.

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"Though no one has been arrested during the raids, several documents have been seized by the sleuths". The government too has set up a panel to decide on India's stand on cryptocurrency. However, on Indian bitcoin exchanges it is trading at a huge premium - for instance, on Zebpay, Bitcoin is over Rs.1380000 (or $21562) at press time. "However, the operations are still on and final findings will emerge later", a senior official was quoted as saying.

Bitcoins supply is limited to 21 million - a number that is expected to be reached around the year 2140.

Because there is no country or regulator controlling it, the prices are volatile and can rise or fall up to 40 per cent at the slightest of good or bad news. Bitcoin hit another all-time peak on Tuesday, two days after the launch of the first ever bitcoin futures on a USA exchange as investors grew optimistic that the $20,000-mark is within reach.

"The absence of counter parties in usage of virtual currencies including Bitcoins, for illicit and illegal activities in anonymous/pseudonymous systems could subject the users to unintentional breaches of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism laws", Minister of State for Finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

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