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1 lakh Income Tax notices sent to Bitcoin investors

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New Delhi, Feb 6: The Indian Income Tax Department has issued about one lakh notices to people who have invested in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin without declaring these in their income tax returns, a top official said on Tuesday.

The revelation by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra at an Assocham event here comes at a time when virtual currencies values have been tumbling on worries about government regulation. Bitcoin fell to its lowest since November at $5,992 in the Hong Kong market in early trade on Tuesday.

“People who have made investments (in cryptocurrencies) 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,” he said at an Assocham organised post-Budget seminar here.

According to Chandra, the Income Tax Department had conducted various surveys on cryptocurrency exchanges to understand how many people are regular contributors, how many had registered themselves and how many have traded on exchanges.

“We found out that there is no clarity on investments made by many people which means that they have not declared it properly.

“We have informed all the DGs (Director Generals of Income Tax) across India, they are issuing notices and so that would be taxed,” he added.

He also said that as per income tax laws, money invested in virtual currencies would be taxable if the source is unexplained. Moreover, the profit gained on such investments is taxable.

“So we will tax that particular amount and they should pay tax on that,” Chandra added.

In December last, the Indian government sounded the alarm on the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies, comparing them with the notorious Ponzi schemes floated to dupe gullible investors.

A Finance Ministry statement said that as virtual currencies were not backed by assets, their prices are entirely a “matter of mere speculation”.

“Consumers need to be alert and extremely cautious as to avoid getting trapped in such Ponzi schemes,” it said.

It clarified that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and do not have any regulatory permission or protection in India.

“The Government or Reserve Bank of India has not authorised any virtual currencies as a medium of exchange. Further, the government or any other regulator in India has not given license to any agency for working as exchange or any other kind of intermediary for any virtual currency,” the statement said.

According to investigation agencies here, with the demand and price of cryptocurrencies on the rise, cyber criminals have found innovative ways to dupe those looking to invest.

Bitcoins in India have been trading at more than Rs 10 lakh each, while people are investing amounts ranging from Rs 3,000 to several lakhs of rupees.

Bitcoin values in New York, for instance, have soared nearly 1,600 per cent over the past year and have gone upwards of $15,000.

In December, cryptocurrency dealer Pluto Exchange announced the launch of India’s first mobile application for transacting in virtual currencies.

IANS

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Azim Premji and Dr Devi Shetty chosen for PCB awards

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, Jan 19: The chairman of Wipro Limited Azim Premji and the founder chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Prasad Shetty are among those who have been selected for the annual awards given by the Press Club of Bangalore.

Premji has been chosen for ‘Press Club Person of the Year’, while Dr Shetty and actor-Director Sudeep Sanjeev have been selected for the ‘Press Club Special Award.’

Besides them 25 senior journalists have been selected for the ‘Press Club Annual Awards’, a release said.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will facilitate the awardees at a function scheduled for the third week of February, it said.

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Healthcare sector revenues likely to grow by 20% in FY22: ICRA

he risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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New Delhi, Jan 19: Even as the healthcare sector witnessed squeezing of revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic, its long-term outlook remains stable on the back of swift rebound in occupancy as well as structural factors, ICRA said on Monday.

The rating agency expects the occupancy of companies in the sector to bounce back substantially to 60 per cent in FY22, from the estimated occupancy of 52 per cent in FY21, and the revenue growth to be at 20 per cent in FY22, against an estimated contraction of 19 per cent in FY21, aided by a lower base as well.

There has been significant sequential improvement in occupancy every month after the sharp fall in April and the pent-up demand is also likely to support the performance, as elective procedures cannot be delayed indefinitely by domestic as well as international patients, the report noted.

Due to the high operating leverage, the EBITDA margin is likely to rise to 13 per cent in FY22, against an estimated EBITDA margin of 9 per cent in FY21. The capital expansion was already slowing down, even pre-Covid, and is likely to remain modest in FY22 as the players have adequate capacity to grow over the medium term and the near-term focus is on better utilisation of the existing facilities rather than expansion of the network.

Consequently, the capex as well as startup costs of new hospitals are likely to be much lower going forward, which will also aid profitability. The net debt is expected to stay largely range-bound, but the debt protection metrics is likely to improve significantly due to a sharp rise in accruals, ICRA said.

According to Kapil Banga, Assistant Vice President, ICRA: “The credit risk profile of entities in the sector had been on improving the trajectory over the last two years and notwithstanding the near-term disruption due to the pandemic, as well as given the essential nature of the services, ICRA believes the sector will resume on its growth trajectory in FY22. The risks to the recovery could be in the form of additional regulatory measures, protracted restrictions on international travel and jump in Covid-19 cases”.

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Excise duty collection surges 48% in FY21 on high fuel levies

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

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Modi Poster on Petrol Pump

New Delhi, Jan 17 : As the government has kept excise duty on petrol and diesel elevated amid the pandemic with a view to increase revenue, the total excise duty collection during April-November FY21 has surged nearly 48 per cent as compared to the year ago period.

The excise duty collection during the first eight months of the current financial year was over Rs 1.96 lakh crore, compared to over Rs 1.32 lakh crore collected during April-November FY20, official data showed.

The collection in November 2020 was highest so far in the financial year 2020-21 at Rs 35,703 crore. In November 2019, excise duty collection stood at Rs 18,948 crore.

The total excise duty in the last financial year was over Rs 2.39 lakh crore.

As fuel prices are at record high despite low crude oil prices, demand has been raised from several quarters to reduce the excise duty on petrol and diesel to provide relief to the common man.

In the national capital, petrol is sold at a record high level of Rs 84.70 a litre while diesel is priced at Rs 74.88 per litre.

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