11 crypto exchanges probed for tax evasion: Minister

Almost ₹96 crore recovered by GST authorities

March 28, 2022 07:46 pm | Updated 07:46 pm IST - NEW DELHI 

Eleven crypto exchanges have been investigated for evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) worth ₹81.54 crore, the Finance Ministry said on Monday. The GST authorities have collected ₹95.86 crore so far in these cases, including interest and penalty on tax dues. 

Crypto exchange Zanmai Labs Pvt. Ltd, also known as WAZIRX, accounted for ₹40.51 crore, or more than half of the evaded amount detected so far, followed by Coin DCX (evasion of ₹15.70 crore) and CoinSwitch Kuber (₹13.76 crore). 

The other crypto exchanges where evasion of GST has been discovered, but in smaller sums, include UnoCoin, Flitpay, Zebpay, Secure Bitcoin Traders Pvt. Ltd., Zeb IT Services Pvt. Ltd, Giottus Technologies Pvt. Ltd, and Discidium Internet Labs Pvt. Ltd. 

As per data shared by the Ministry in the Lok Sabha, the recovery amount is lower than the detected tax evasion only at two of the 11 exchanges. This includes Giottus Technologies, where ₹3.85 crore of tax evasion was detected but only ₹3.50 crore has been collected so far, and Secure Bitcoin Traders where the evasion amount is ₹54 lakh of which about ₹30 lakh has been recovered. 

“Few cases of evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) by crypto-currency exchanges have been detected by Central GST formations,” said Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said in response to a query on cryptocurrency exchanges. “The government does not collect any data on cryptocurrency exchanges, he said. 

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said last week that the government has not yet decided whether to ban or regulate crypto assets, also known as virtual digital assets, but will levy a tax on crypto transactions and profits. A decision on the regulatory structure, if any is to be introduced, shall be taken after ‘consultations’, she said. 

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