GST Council May Levy 28% Rate on Cryptocurrencies

The GST Council is considering levying a 28% GST rate on cryptocurrencies in its next Council meeting, according to sources. The proposal will be in line with the government’s view of taxing cryptocurrencies on par with lotteries, betting, casinos, and horse racing. The date for the next GST Council meeting is yet to be announced.

The decision to include crypto in the highest tax bracket could be in a bid to expand the indirect tax net on crypto-related services. Besides the GST rate, mandatory guidelines are being worked upon for crypto aggregators to redress consumer complaints within a stipulated time frame.

In Budget 2022, the government imposed a levy of 30% income tax on the transfer of virtual digital assets, which include cryptocurrencies. No deductions are allowed while calculating the income earned from the transfer of such assets, apart from the cost of acquisition. Further, this income will be taxable even if the taxpayer’s total income is less than the income tax threshold limit of Rs.2.5 lakh. 

However, the government is yet to shed light on other aspects surrounding cryptocurrencies. This includes GST on crypto mining, their exchange value, crypto being received as payments, and the sale and purchase of cryptocurrencies, for instance. The GST Council has nominated a law committee to take up this proposal of levying a 28% GST rate on activities and services related to cryptocurrencies, whose view will be tabled before the Council for formal approval. 

Sources say that the aforementioned crypto-related services could soon attract 28% GST once the proposal is given the nod by the GST Council. Further, crypto exchanges that sell cryptocurrencies from foreign exchanges to people in India act as an intermediary and are currently subject to an 18% GST rate on intermediary services. These services, too, could be classified under a new head and liable to 28% GST if agreed upon by the Council.

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